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Hey teens, let’s talk! :)

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians over at Central Library.

Cartoon Taylor

Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog is all about mental health.

Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources, and/or activities related to the monthly topic.


Teen Talk Mental Health

What is Mental Health?

Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. In simpler terms, mental health affects how we think, behave, and feel—which then can affect our daily lives, relationships, and physical health. Conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and addiction (as a few examples), can turn a person’s daily life upside down.

Read more here: MedicalNewsToday.com

Mental Health Is Isn't list

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is about not only avoiding active conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.

The 10 Tools for Living Mentally Healthy:
1. Connect with others
2. Stay positive
3. Get physically active
4. Help others
5. Get enough Sleep
6. Create joy and satisfaction
7. Eat well
8. Take care of your spirit
9. Deal better with hard times
10. Get professional help if you need it

Read more about how to incorporate these practices into your life here: MHANational.org/ten-tools

Mental Health Check

Never forget: Your mental health MATTERS.

Read more:


Explore books & eContent regarding mental health:

Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.

Check back next month for our next Teen Talk!

Come join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at the Aurora Central Library. I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured.


Taylor's signature
-Taylor (she/her)

Posted by [email protected]  On May 02, 2022 at 2:12 PM
  
Teen Talk. Photo of teens laughing together.
 
Hey teens, let’s talk! J

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library.  

Cartoon Taylor  
 
Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog is all about sexual health.
  
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources and activities related to the monthly topic. 

Text: Let's talk about sex. Pop art style of two people with hand cupped around mouth, like shouting.

April is STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Awareness Month! I didn’t know this, but it seems so fitting given that this month’s blog post is all about sexual health. Let me begin by saying sexual health is not only about preventing STDs  it encompasses a whole range of topics related to your changing body, sexual relationships and overall health. 

Some of the things you will read in this blog post may be new to you, lead you to feel uncomfortable or awkward and have you asking more questions than you did before — and that is all okay! It’s normal. You are not alone in your feelings. This is a safe space. 

Real talk: Growing up I did not have access to a lot of information regarding my sexual health. This left me feeling a sense of personal shame, confused and even stupid at times. It also affected my physical health, leading to a handful of STDs as well as an unplanned pregnancy. I hope this blog post will help you feel more informed regarding your health as well as capable of having a conversation with a trusted adult if you need more information and questions answered. 

Graphic that reads Your Sexual Health Matters 

•  KidsHealth.org has one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve seen regarding adolescent and teen sexual health. I’d highly recommend exploring this page to get some of your (potentially embarrassing) questions answered.

Sex, etc. has a sex ed dictionary with almost 400 words you need to know. - https://sexetc.org/sex-ed/sex-terms/

Puberty
Puberty is a time of emotional and physical change. You can feel out of control and confused at what is happening inside of you. However uncomfortable, awkward and scary it may be these feelings will not last forever and are all part of normal growth and development.

Graphic of what happens during puberty
 
Resources about Puberty
· Puberty Topics (Videos)
· Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty
· Puberty & Development Information
· Puberty 101

Masturbation
"What is it about masturbation that provokes such negative reactions from so many people? Shame, silence and stigma are common adult reactions to the topic.

Yet, the topic of masturbation is consistently mentioned in all the groups of students with whom I’ve worked. Students often ask if it is okay. Silence from adults communicates stigma to our young people: masturbation is shameful and taboo. So, young people learn not to talk about it. They hide their questions and behavior from the adults who love and care for them. Our children develop unhealthy attitudes about the ways their bodies work and feel during puberty.

[I]t is normal if someone does masturbate, and it is also normal if someone does not masturbate. Whether or not a person masturbates is an individual choice” (Wendy Sellers, 2016).

Masturbation: Totally Normal (Video)


Healthy Relationships 
Graphic listing healthy signs and warning signs for relationships

· Healthy Relationships 
· 6 Simple Ways to Understand Consent (Video)
· Consent: What Does it Mean?
· How to Tell Your Partner What You’re Ready (or Not Ready) for Sexually


STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
STDs come with a lot of stigma and shame… Why? Despite what you may think, more people have had an STD at some point in their life than not. 

While a handful of STDs are not a big deal if treated (usually just an antibiotic for a couple weeks), if left untreated they can severely impact your life. That is why it is important to get tested regularly if you are sexually active and communicate with any sexual partners you have.

· Free, Safe, & Confidential Testing
· Do You Have an STD? You're Not the Only One
· How To Tell Someone That You Have an STD or STI
· 10 Signs You May Have an STD or STI
· How Do Teen Couples Talk About STDs?


Pregnancy
Unplanned pregnancy can be scary and overwhelming. There are three options: raising the child, having an abortion or placing the child for adoption. It is important remember that there is no “right” option, each one is a choice — a hard one, but still yours to make. 
· Pregnant?
· Experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy? You have options.
· The Adoption Option
· Birth Mothers Share What They Want Adoptive Parents to Know


Birth Control
 Chart showing how well various forms of birth control work
What’s the Best Birth Control for Teens?

***The most effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is by practicing abstinence -- meaning not having sex or any intimate genital contact (including anal sex or oral sex).***

Explore books & eContent regarding sexual health: 

 
Check back next month for our next Teen Talk!  

Come join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library. I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured.  
 

Taylor's signature
-Taylor (she/her)


Posted by [email protected]  On Apr 05, 2022 at 9:33 AM
  
Teen Talk. Photo of teens laughing together.
 
Hey teens, let’s talk! 

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library.  
Cartoon Taylor  
 
Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog on mindfulness.  
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources, and activities related to the monthly topic. 

Artwork of person meditating in center with colorful surroundings

Mindfulness and meditation have become buzzwords over the last few years and for good reason—it works, it’s free, it’s simple, and anyone can do it. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all and altered the way we do life. Slowing down and remaining present is now more essential than ever to our overall well-being.  

Let’s dive in  what is mindfulness? 

“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.  

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.  

When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.” 
 (Source: Greater Good Magazine)

Quote on yellow background. Text: We have a finite amount of energy to spend every day before becoming exhausted. Mindfulness helps you use your energy wisely, spending it on situations, people, and causes that bring you the most joy, meaning and peace. By Thich Nhat Hanh
 
 
Read these articles about the power of mindfulness in daily life:
- How I Became a Mindfulness Convert
- Benefits of Mindfulness
- How to Practice Mindfulness: 11 Practical Steps and Tips


Graphic showing impact of mindfulness

I only recently got into meditation and mindfulness. I had heard a lot about the practice. I had heard about the benefits, but I still was resistant. It felt too easy or like it wouldn’t make much of a difference. About eight months ago I started incorporating deep breathing meditation before bed to help with my insomnia. I would play some ocean sounds or thunderstorms on my phone and practice deep breathing for twenty minutes while lying in bed. The results were instant and long-lasting. 

Since then, whenever I have started to feel overwhelmed or anxious I’ll try to remember to step aside and take a couple of deep breathes to re-center myself. I can feel my body relaxing and the tension leaving after a few breathes. It’s amazing! 

Three months ago I started reading up on mindfulness. I was surprised to find how simple and transformative the practice was. It sounds so simple—pay attention to the present moment, pay attention to how you feel, your surroundings, etc. 

The area of my life where I was able to see immediate changes was with eating. When practicing mindful eating you have no distractions, savor each bite, and fully engage with the act of eating and the food in front of you. 

What is most important about mindfulness is that you don’t have to be perfect and it is something that you continue to practice and grow with. I hope that you will consider incorporating mindfulness into your daily life and giving meditation a try. I have found it to be more beneficial than I thought. 

Quote on yellow background. Text: You need to wake up from your autopilot mode. You have to live deeply and with more awareness so that you can be attentive to each moment. By Thich Nhat Hanh 

Explore these free apps for guided meditations and mindfulness practices:
Smiling Mind – FREE app 
- Insight Timer – FREE app (pay for more access) 


Check out these books related to mindfulness and meditation:

 

Check back in April for our next Teen Talk! 

Join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library (14949 E. Alameda Pkwy.). I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured.   

Taylor written in cursive
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 01, 2022 at 12:29 PM
  
Teen Talk. Photo of teens laughing together.
 
Hey teens, let’s talk! 

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library.  
Cartoon Taylor  
 
Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog is all about self-love.  
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources, and activities related to the monthly topic. 

Cartoon of person hugging himself 

Self-love. We hear this term quite frequently nowadays, but… What does it really mean? How do we cultivate it? Why is it important?

Self-love: “regard for one's own well-being and happiness” –Oxford Dictionary 

Self love in heart in center. Phrases on colorful sections around the heart. Phrases include don't compare yourself, note the things you're proud of, let go of past mistakes, say yes to things you love, speak kindly to yourself and let yourself rest.


Self-Love and What It Means:

“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual
growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of
your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.” 

The line that really sticks out to me in this definition is: “Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.”

I struggle a lot with ignoring my own needs in order to remain “responsible, productive, or a good friend/partner” when it actually is hurting me and hinders my ability to show up for my friends, family and coworkers. It is easy to push, push, push and think we are doing what is right. However, our bodies and minds will find ways to slow us down and stop us if we are not paying attention to our needs. Practicing self-love and learning what you need is difficult and does not happen overnight. Remember to give yourself some grace and trust yourself. 

Examples of self-love:
• Talking to and about yourself with love
• Prioritizing yourself
• Giving yourself a break from self-judgement
• Trusting yourself
• Being true to yourself
• Being nice to yourself
• Setting healthy boundaries
• Forgiving yourself when you aren’t being true or nice to yourself
 
A list of various ways one can practice self-love

How to (Really) Practice Self Love: 4 Things to Remember:

“Self-love isn’t just saying yes to things that we enjoy, it’s saying no to things that don’t serve us. Is that thing you’re doing self-care or self-sabotage? Are you not responding to messages because you’re holding a boundary or are you not responding because you are withdrawing and isolating? Just like every other skill  we have to learn, it takes practice and constant work.”

While self-love sometimes is doing things like taking a bath, seeing friends, cooking a healthy meal—it also is about doing those hard things, like cutting out toxic people from your life, saying no to a commitment because you do not have the capacity to fulfill it, or following through on something challenging, even if you are nervous to try. It is about finding a balance between pushing yourself and trusting your own limits. That what is tricky. Sometimes self-love is saying no. Other times self-love is saying yes, even though you want to say no. It takes practice and intention to figure out what your true needs are and what your capacity is.

A list of examples of what self love might look like

Graphic showing elements of self-love

Other articles to explore:
A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love
Self-Love is Tough, But Not Impossible
Why Self-Love is Important and How to Cultivate It

What's your self-love language? With lists of various examples. 

Check back in March for our next Teen Talk! 

Join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library (14949 E. Alameda Pkwy.). I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured. 
 
- Taylor is cursive

 
Posted by [email protected]  On Feb 08, 2022 at 12:36 PM
  
Teen Talk


Hey teens, let’s talk!
I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library. 

Cartoon of woman with short hair, surrounded by rainbow border on corners

Each month at Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog is all about studying. 
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources, and/or activities related to the monthly topic.


Studying... Ugh! If you are anything like me, studying can be a chore. 
When I was in school, I really struggled. I didn't do well on tests, had a hard time retaining information, and dreaded learning. Now, I work at the library where I eat books full of knowledge for breakfast! 😊

Image of Buddy the Elf from "Elf" with meme font that says "I like learning. Learning is my favorite"

It can feel like if you do not do well in school that you are not smart. I am here to tell you, that is not the case! The pressure to memorize facts and make straight A’s can leave you feeling inadequate when you do not perform well. I am living proof that you can do very poorly in school and still be intelligent. It can be challenging, but it isn't impossible. You can learn how to cultivate good study habits and discover what works for you.
Hopefully this blog will give you some advice that will help you feel more confident at school. 

These 3 articles go into depth on best studying practices:
5 Research-Backed Studying Techniques
The Complete Study Guide for Every Type of Learner
- Top 10 Tips on How to Study Smarter, Not Longer

After reading the above articles, here’s a few tips I would add:
1. Reframe Studying in Your Mind
Once I reframed the way I viewed school, studying and learning from a place of dread and like something I HAD to do, to something I wanted to do/had the opportunity to do—it really did help. Our brains have miraculous powers and we can trick ourselves with our thoughts. It can be helpful to think about school and learning as a way to acquire new knowledge and discover some cool stuff about life, rather than thinking about it as collecting boring facts or useless information that you need to know for a test and then toss. Maybe you will use what you learn in school in the future, maybe you won’t... but either way, it’s rad to know things. So why not spend the time to actually learn and maintain that knowledge in your mind. 

Cartoon showing steps of Cognitive Reframing
 

2. Take Some Deep Breaths
Simply breathing is your best friend! Anxious, overwhelming thoughts can consume our minds. Whenever your feel stressed, nervous, like things are too much or you are not good enough—just deeply inhale for several seconds and exhale for several seconds a few times in a row. This has been a helpful practice for me while I am studying, before taking a test or giving a presentation. 

Deep breaths infographic
 
3. Communicate with Friends, Parents, and Teachers
This is an unconventional tip, but one that I think can help. When we communicate our needs, challenges, intentions and so forth to those in our life it can help alleviate some pressure. When I was in school there would be times when I studied nonstop, but still failed the test. My parents would be upset with me. They didn’t think I studied at all. Rather than helping support me and try to find ways to improve my studying, they blamed my bad grades on a lack of commitment. I was left filled with guilt and shame for not being smart enough. Once I started communicating more, the people in my life knew where I was coming from, which allowed for more empathy and understanding. 

Drawn images of people talking to each other

4. Explore a Variety of Tactics
What works for one person, isn’t going to necessarily work for the other. It’s important to remember that we all learn differently. Even with yourself, what might help you with math may not work as effectively with history. Trying out different studying methods to see what fits is vital. 
Study Methods infographic

Study Methods infographic
 
Explore books & eContent regarding studying:


Check back next month for our next Teen Talk! 

Join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library (14949 E. Alameda Pkwy.). I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured. 
 
Taylor written in cursive

Posted by [email protected]  On Jan 04, 2022 at 4:03 PM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse YA novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you.

Remember, your mental health matters.

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on Self-Care.

Self-care is not a substitute for professional help and does not cure mental illness. However, incorporating self-care practices into your daily life can make a positive impact on your well-being both in the short and long-term. Read more here.
 
Some daily self-care includes sleep, nutrition, movement, boundaries & relaxation. 

Mental Health Superpowers

Sleep
Getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is essential to the functioning of not only our bodies and brains, but also our well-being. Sleep impacts more than you may think. When you are operating on limited sleep, our brains cannot process information as efficiently—which can leave us feeling confused, irritable, and emotionally charged. 

Sleep Tips for Teens

10 Sleep Tips for Teens
 

Nutrition
Proper nutrition is so important. When we fuel our bodies with nutrient rich foods, our bodies and brains are able to function at optimal levels. Not only are we physically feeding our bodies, but our overall mental health and well-being can be improved with a healthy diet. 

How What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health
Food and Mood
6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

6 ways to practice mindful eating
 

Movement
Regular, consistent exercise is one simple way to improve your overall health. Many people are familiar with the physical benefits exercise can reap—from maintaining healthy weight to preventing diseases, but exercise can also boost your energy, improve your sleep and enhance your mood. 
- 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
How to Start Exercising: A Beginner’s Guide to Working Out
- How to Stay Active As a Teen

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
 

Boundaries
Boundaries are guidelines for relationships with those in your life. They are important to establish for your own well-being, as well as helpful for those on the receiving in to know how best to behave with you. Often times boundary setting can feel awkward, harsh, confusing, or wrong – setting boundaries with those in your life is not selfish, it actually creates a more safe and rewarding relationship or both parties. 
How to Establish Boundaries
- What Are Boundaries and Why Are They Important
Why Do Boundaries Make Us Feel Bad
- How to Set Healthy Boundaries With Friends to Preserve Your Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Boundary-Setting Sentences


Relaxation
Slowing down, relaxing, and re-centering yourself can sometimes feel like a luxury that we do not have. Many of us are busy with school, home, friends, chores, hobbies-- and it seems like there are endless things on our to-do list. Our culture is one that values being productive and can glorify being stressed out. But what is more important to our well-being is actually stopping to be aware of the present moment. Deep breathing and practicing mindfulness can do wonders to your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. 

10 Cool Meditations
12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
- Getting Started with Mindfulness
Visit the Calm Room—Videos, Sounds, and Resources to Help You Relax and Refocus

Self Care 101
 


Explore books that address Self-Care:


For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.

Check back in 2022 for our next blog post!
Posted by [email protected]  On Dec 06, 2021 at 1:31 PM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Mental Health Spotlight: Abuse

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse Young Adult novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you.

Remember, your mental health matters.

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on abuse.

The definition of abuse is: “a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another.” Abuse can take a number of forms and it is important to note that abuse is a pattern of behavior, not a single incident. 

Types of Abuse:
1. Physical: any non-accidental act or behavior causing injury, trauma, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.

2. Sexual: abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another. Often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another.
 
3. Verbal: type of mental abuse through the use of language. It is an act of abuse where the abuser attacks the self-concept of the victim, decreasing their self-confidence and making them feel powerless. Examples include: harassing, labeling, insulting, scolding, excessive yelling, derogatory terms, delivery of statements intended to fright, humiliate, denigrate, or belittle. 

4. Mental/Emotional: any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take several forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing.

5. Neglect: either through action or inaction, an abuser deprives a vulnerable person of the care necessary to maintain their physical or mental health. Examples include: not providing basic items such as food, water, clothing, a safe place to live, medicine, or health care.

6. Financial: control over the other person’s access to economic resources, which diminishes the victim's capacity to support themselves and forces them to depend on the perpetrator financially. Examples include: Preventing someone from obtaining education, restricting their ability to find employment, maintain, or advance their careers, spending their money without their consent, or creating debt. 

7. Cultural/Identity: use aspects of a victim’s particular cultural identity to inflict suffering, or as a means of control. Examples include: Not letting someone observe the dietary or dress customs of their faith, using racial slurs, threatening to ‘out’ someone as LGBTQA+  if their friends and family don’t know, or isolating someone who doesn’t speak the dominant language where they.

8. Online: any type of abuse that happens on the internet. It can happen across any device that's connected to the web, like computers, tablets and mobile phones. 

 
Articles Regarding Abuse:
- Abusive Relationships
- What Is Emotional Abuse? 
- What a Flashback Feels Like as a Survivor of Sexual Abuse
- 10 Common Patterns Of Verbal Abuse
- How to Recognize the Signs of Mental and Emotional Abuse
- 5 Actionable Steps Towards Healing After an Abusive Relationship
- What Are the Short- and Long-Term Effects of Emotional Abuse? 
- The Connection Between Verbal Abuse And Anxiety (That No One Talks About)
- How To Help A Friend Who May Be In An Abusive Relationship
Online Abuse

Graphics about emotional abuse, gaslighting and trauma responses

Find Support:
There is support for you. Calling an anonymous hotline can provide support, answer questions, and help connect you to additional resources. 
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-799-7233
- National Sexual Assault Hotline - 800-656-4673
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline - 800-422-4453
- National Runaway Safeline - 800-786-2929


Explore Young Adult novels & nonfiction that address abuse:


For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.

Check back in December for our next Mental Health Spotlight!
Posted by svanh[email protected]  On Nov 04, 2021 at 12:34 PM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse YA novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you. 

Remember, your mental health matters. 

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on Bipolar Disorder. 
 Bipolar Disorder

About Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition that causes cycles of extreme mood swings. These episodes of mania or hypomania and depression can severely impact a person’s daily functioning. The highs and lows of Bipolar Disorder can occur multiple times a year or rarely. 
 
Chart showing signs of Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Mania or hypomania symptoms can include:
Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
Increased activity, energy or agitation
Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
Decreased need for sleep
Unusual talkativeness
Racing thoughts
Distractibility
Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investments

Depression symptoms can include:
Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)
Marked loss of interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities
Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
Either insomnia or sleeping too much
Either restlessness or slowed behavior
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide

Learn more about Bipolar Disorder here.

Relatable Articles to Explore:
Here's What It's Actually Like To Live With Bipolar Disorder

15 Self-Care Tips for People Living with Bipolar Disorder

What I Want My Loved Ones to Understand About Bipolar Depression

12 Celebrities That Have Opened Up About Having Bipolar Disorder

This Is What a Mixed Bipolar Episode Feels Like

Effects of Bipolar Disorder on the Body

How Do I Tell New Friends About My History of Bipolar Disorder? 

11 Ways People Cope With Bipolar Disorder Isolation


Explore Young Adult novels & nonfiction that address Bipolar Disorder



For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library and look for call number 616.89. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.  

Aurora Central Library display featuring books about bipolar disorcer

Check back in November for our next Mental Health Spotlight!  
Posted by [email protected]  On Oct 12, 2021 at 9:33 AM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse YA novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you. 

Remember, your mental health matters. 

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on suicide in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 5 – 11) and National Suicide Prevention Month in September.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Young Adult book display at Central Library

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues (Nami, 2021). The goal of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is to raise awareness of the stigmatized, and often taboo, topic of suicide and to spread both valuable information and hope to those who have been affected by it.

Having suicidal thoughts can be scary and they can range in their intensity. This scale is a helpful tool to check in with yourself when you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

 Suicidality Scale

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts:
If you can’t see any solution besides harming yourself or others, you need to get help right away. 

Asking for help can be really difficult, but it’s vital you reach out to someone you trust—a friend, family member, teacher, etc. If you don’t feel that you have anyone to talk to, or think that talking to a stranger might be easier, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255
Whatever your situation, it takes real courage to face death and step back from the brink. 
Having thoughts of hurting yourself or others does not make you a bad person. 
If your feelings are uncontrollable, tell yourself to wait 24 hours before you take any action. 
If you’re afraid you might do something, make sure you are never alone. Even if you can’t verbalize your feelings, just stay in public places, hang out with friends or family members.
Read more on suicidal thoughts here.

Real Teens Share Their Stories: 
Meet Halima Shegow
- Meet Jordan Burnham
- Meet Travis Young

Learn More:
The Aspect of Suicidality That Suicide Prevention Campaigns Are Missing 
- 6 Ways to Deal With Suicidal Thoughts, According to Experts 
- What a ‘Typical’ Day Looks Like With Chronic Suicidal Thoughts

Explore Young Adult novels and non-fiction that address suicide. Visit the display at Aurora Central Library for more books. 



For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library and look for call number 362.28. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.

Check back in October for our next Mental Health Spotlight!  
Posted by [email protected]  On Sep 09, 2021 at 4:02 PM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse YA novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you. 

Remember, your mental health matters. 

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  

PTSD Young Adult book display

About PTSD: 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health issue that some people may develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. A traumatic event varies from person to person, some examples include:
- physical, verbal, or sexual abuse
- mass shootings
- natural disasters
- violent crime
- serious injury or illness
- military combat
- car accidents

Many people associate PTSD with soldiers returning home from war. However, this stereotype can be damaging to those who have lived through a trauma and are suffering from PTSD-- but may feel that what they experienced was “not bad enough” to seek help. This is not true. Your trauma is valid, whatever that may be and you deserve to receive support and treatment

Read more from Mayo Clinic about PTSD here.

This infographic breaks down the basics of PTSD:

Infographic about PTSD
 

Additional informative articles specifically related to youth:
Polaris Teen
Kids Health

Did you know that there are two types of PTSD?
PTSD is typically reserved for a single event. An example could be a serious car accident or witnessing a friend’s suicide. However, Complex PTSD often referred to as C-PTSD is a repeated trauma that can last months to years. An example could be ongoing physical, verbal, or sexual abuse. 
Read more about C-PTSD here.

Infographic about complex  P T S D 

If you are wondering if you may have PTSD, take this self-assessment.

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts:
Suicidal thoughts can accompany those with PTSD. 
Asking for help can be really difficult, but it’s vital you reach out to someone you trust—a friend, family member, or teacher, etc. If you don’t feel that you have anyone to talk to, or think that talking to a stranger might be easier, call the suicide helpline at 1-800-273-8255. 
Remember:
Whatever your situation, it takes real courage to face death and step back from the brink. 
Having thoughts of hurting yourself or others does not make you a bad person. 
If your feelings are uncontrollable, tell yourself to wait 24 hours before you take any action. 
If you’re afraid you might do something, make sure you are never alone. Even if you can’t verbalize your feelings, just stay in public places, hang out with friends or family members.
Read more on suicidal thoughts here.

Find Community: 
Check out The Mighty, a website dedicated to providing community and support online. No matter what health situation you're going through. The Mighty breaks down what health is really like. 
Join a PTSD Support Community - more information here.

Read through these relatable articles regarding PTSD and how it can affect your life.
31 Small Ways To Make Living With PTSD A Little Easier
- 41 Truths People With PTSD Wish Others Understood
- 5 Ways People With PTSD Love Differently In Relationships
- Grounding Exercises For PTSD 
9 Surprising Facts About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- 76 Healing C-PTSD Quotes and Affirmations
- 16 Lies People With PTSD Tell
- TED Talks on Trauma and PTSD
- 23 'Embarrassing' Symptoms of PTSD We Don't Talk About
 
Young Adult Book display about P T S D

Explore Young Adult novels & nonfiction that address PTSD: 


For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library and look for call number 616.85. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health

Check back in September for our next Mental Health Spotlight!  
Posted by [email protected]  On Aug 06, 2021 at 10:24 AM
  
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