Teen Health and Wellness Resources | Local
The teenage years can be difficult for many young people. It is a unique and formative time with rapid physical and emotional development. Our teens are going through these years of learning new skills, exploring their identity and finding their place in the world while collectively experiencing some form of grief, anxiety and depression from the pandemic.
The signs of pandemic stress and the trauma they have experienced are manifesting and rippling through all aspects of their lives. Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry declared the pandemic-related decline in young people’s mental health a national emergency.
One good thing to come out of the pandemic is that it has reduced the stigma around talking about mental health. To support our youth, we need to speak openly and non-judgmentally and focus on recreating community, promoting social-emotional learning and psychological well-being, and providing access and resources to mental health care. There is a lack of mental health resources for adolescents. Let’s help bridge this gap in our community.
To make the information our teens might need more accessible, we have created a “Difficult but Not Taboo Topics” poster in the Young Adult Non-Fiction area of the Neill Public Library. Topics, along with their call number, include topics teens may want to know more about but don’t know how to ask, such as: violence (362.76); alcohol (613.81); anxiety (152.46); body image (616.852); cyberbullying (364.158); depression (616.8527); spectrum of healthy relationships (646.77); homelessness (362,592); LGBTQIAA+ (306.76); sex (613.954); and suicide (362.28).
Self-service payment terminals are available for added convenience and privacy.
The young adult non-fiction section will be continually updated to meet the needs of our teens. If you are looking for a book on a particular subject and cannot find it, you can make a suggestion through our online catalog by clicking on “Suggest a title” or call us at (509) 334-3595.
Mental health promotion and prevention requires a multi-level approach with varied delivery platforms in the community to reach adolescents. That’s why we’re delighted to have a “Resilience Resource Shelf” available in the Friends of the NPL book sales area at the library, where you can find reading recommendations, information on -be and other great resources from Palouse Alternatives to Violence. These resources are free, confidential, and available to anyone. Take what you need, they don’t need to be verified, and when you you’re done, you can put it back on the shelf, keep it, or pass it on to others who might need the resources.
Neill Public Library has also partnered with Pullman Regional Hospital to promote health literacy in our community with a new program called Read into Wellness. Pullman Regional Hospital is donating four copies of a single title presented for six months focusing on an aspect of health and wellness and will be available at the Neill Public Library. February’s Read into Wellness title is “Beautiful Affliction,” by Lene Fogelberg, a memoir about a young woman whose life-threatening congenital heart disease was dismissed by the medical community in Sweden. Watch for future features and wellness titles from this partnership in the coming months.
The pandemic may subside, but its health effects will last much longer. We need to invest in the overall health of our children by providing them with the safety and security to seek help when needed, access health resources, and listen without judgment.
Rachael Ritter is the Youth Services Librarian at the Neill Public Library.