Serving Teens with Mental Illness in the Library: A Practical Guide

Serving Teens with Mental Illness in the Library: A Practical Guide

by Deborah K. Takahashi


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As a teen librarian, you are more likely than not to encounter teens with mental health issues. Will you know how to help them? This guide explains what to do and what not to do.

Mental illness among teens has risen to epidemic levels. When mental health issues come to the library, what is the librarian's role? This book asserts that you don't have to be a social worker or mental health professional to provide guidance to teens with mental health issues. By creating collections that contain mental health resources, working with community partners, and initiating dialogues with library patrons that de-stigmatize mental illness, you can serve a positive and proactive role in helping teens to get help.

This book provides readers with practical guidelines for building collections, programs, and services that support teens experiencing mental health challenges and explains how to create a supportive, welcoming environment in the library. In addition, it shows how to forge partnerships with other community agencies in this endeavor, how to advocate for mentally ill teens, and how to teach them to advocate for themselves. Lastly, it discusses how to evaluate these programs and services, and how to take care of your own needs while serving others.

• Addresses a growing need for librarians who can lead teens to mental health resources

• Provides a broad perspective on the many things librarians can do to help teens with mental health issues

• Gives practical guidelines for improving services, programs, and collections to support this population

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440862762
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/10/2019
Series: Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series
Pages: 149
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Deborah K. Takahash is branch librarian for Pasadena Public Library. She specializes in Youth Services. Certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid, she writes for ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) blog.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

1 The Teen Brain and Mental Illness 1

Adolescent Development in a Nutshell 2

Adolescent Behavior 3

The Adolescent Brain 4

Teens and Autonomy 7

Teen Psychological Development 8

Typical Teen Behavior versus Mental Illness 9

Notes 12

2 The Many Faces of Mental Illness 13

Anxiety Disorders 15

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) 15

Panic Disorder 16

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 17

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 18

Mood Disorders 19

Depression 20

Bipolar Disorder 21

Eating Disorders 23

Anorexia Nervosa 23

Bulimia Nervosa 25

Binge-Eating Disorder 27

Psychotic Disorders 28

Psychosis 28

Schizophrenia 29

Schizoaffective Disorder 31

Substance Use Disorders 31

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) 31

Tobacco Use Disorder (TUD) 32

Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) 33

Stimulant Use Disorder (SUD) 34

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) 35

Disruptive Behavior Disorders 36

Disruptive Disorders and Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADHD) 36

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) 37

Conduct Disorder (CD) 37

Self-Harm 38

Mental Health Disorders and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 39

Is Autism Spectrum Disorder a Mental Illness? 39

Teens with ASD and Mental Disorders 40

Notes 41

Additional Readings 42

3 Being Prepared for Teen Mental Health Crisis 43

Online Mental Health Resources 43

American Psychiatric Association (APA) 44

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 45

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 46

Teen-Focused Online Resources 47

Medline Plus-Teen Mental Health 47 47

Training on Mental Disorders 48

City/County Public Health Departments 48

Mental Health First Aid USA 49

Library Mental Health Initiatives 49

San Francisco Public Library Social Worker Program 50

Pima County Library Nurse Program 51

California State Library Mental Health Initiative 52

Funding for Mental Health Trainings 52

Navigating a Teen Mental Health Crisis 53

Legality of Assisting Teens with Mental Disorders 53

Library Policies and Procedures 54

Working with Local Community Resources 56

Notes 56

4 Assisting Teens during a Mental Health Crisis 57

How to Recognize a Mental Health Crisis 57

Tips to Approaching a Teen in Crisis 58

Assisting Teens Who Are Suicidal 59

Assisting Teens Experiencing a Panic Attack 62

Assisting Teens Experiencing Psychosis 64

Assisting Teens Who Experience a Drug/Alcohol Overdose 65

Assisting Teens Who Are Harming Themselves 66

Assisting Teens Who Are Aggressive 67

Self-Care and Debriefing a Crisis 68

Notes 69

5 Creating a Teen Mental Health Initiative 71

Why Build a Teen Mental Health Initiative? 72

Proposing the Teen Mental Health Initiative to Library Management 73

Educating and Supporting the Staff 74

Supporting a Culture of Change 74

Supporting Staff beyond Trainings 76

Creating a Safe Space 77

GLSEN Teen Safe Space Kit 78

Safe Space Signage 79

De-Stigmatize Mental Illness through Dialogue and Community Building 80

Tap into Your Teen Advisory Boards 80

Connect with Local Youth Organizations 82

Connecting Teens with Local Mental Health Organizations 82

Constructing a Teen Mental Health Resource Center 83

Note 86

6 Building and Promoting Better Services for Teens 87

Building Partnerships with Youth and Mental Health Organizations 88

Developing Teen Advocacy Programs 89

Teen Mental Health Advocacy Seminars 89

Adapting Traditional Programs 90

Teen Book Clubs 90

Book to Movie Discussions 91

Arts and Crafts Programs 92

Life Skills Programs 93

Physical Fitness Programs 94

Services and Programs for Teens with Mental Illness 95

Teen Counseling Services in the Library 95

Instant Access to Mental Health Services 97

Sharing Online Resources with Teens with Mental Illness 98

Advocating for Teens through Outreach 99

Outreach Events 99

Mental Health Workshops for Parents and Mentors 100

Media and Social Media Campaigns 102

Empowering Teen Advocates 102

Notes 104

7 Planning for the Future 105

Developing an Evaluation System 106

Documenting and Evaluating the Teen Mental Health Initiative 106

Tracking Time and Staying Organized 106

Program Evaluations 107

Patron Feedback 108

Develop a Master Plan 109

Planning the Future with Partners 110

8 Creating a Self-Care Plan 115

The Importance of Self-Care 115

How to Develop a Self-Care Plan 116

Techniques to Prevent Workplace Burnout 120

Creating Boundaries at Work 120

Meditation Exercises 122

Physical Exercise 123

Daily Affirmation 125

Notes 126

Appendix A Resources for Teens, Parents, and Teen Advocates 127

Appendix B Resources for Teen Librarians 133

Index 139

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