Certain factors, such as genetic vulnerability and sudden trauma, cannot be prevented. However, there are several factors that can be addressed to help protect children and adolescents from mental illness.
- Involvement with a positive peer network
- Positive self-esteem
- Good coping skills
- Family stability
- Presence of parents, guardians, and caring adults who provide emotional support
- Involvement with school/community
- Presence of social values, such as helping others, volunteering, and mentoring
- Social competencies, such as decision-making skills, assertiveness, and interpersonal skills
Source: Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net).