When you were a baby, you had a parent or two or maybe some guardians. They were the ones who helped with all of your grooming and feeding, they offered emotional support and also provided educational support. Whether you knew it or not, you had a personal support network then, and you have one now, too. The roles may have changed, and you likely have more people in your network, but you do have one. With everything that you are going through now, this is a perfect time to define your personal support network and to reach out to each of them for help in your life.
Parents are tricky. You love them. You hate them. You love to hate them. But if you can get past how obnoxious or overbearing they might be, they are your best candidates for your support network. They are close in proximity, they know everything about you, they love you so much, and they are always there for you. They are actually such great candidates for your support network, it is worth working on the relationship to improve it so that you have them on your side when you need them.
Immediate and Extended Family
Every family is different, but siblings can be helpful, too. Sometimes people have grandparents or other extended family living in the home or living nearby. All of these family members are great candidates to be in your personal support network. They offer unique perspectives for you and yet the strength of having family bonds to help you when you need emotional or other types of support.
Teachers and other School Staff
Teachers, School Counselors, Administrators, Advisors, Coaches, and more are amazing additions to your personal support network. They are often altruistic by nature, and they have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. They have the advantage of knowing you and seeing you perform in class, in extra-curricular activities, or otherwise on campus, but their perspective is not quite as close as people in your family. At the very least, they can support you in your academic and extra-curricular activities, as well as helping you to plan for your future.
If there is one group of people who are motivated by love and compassion, it is your spiritual leader. Whether they be clergy members or youth leaders or other people from church, they can be excellent support for you. What you tell them is confidential, and they are usually very compassionate and trustworthy. They are particularly helpful in supporting your spiritual needs, but are often wise and understanding and may have the knowledge to offer guidance in other parts of your life, too.
Not everyone has close relationships with their neighbors, especially since people tend to move more frequently these days. But if you have any neighbors of any age that you are close to and feel like you can trust, add them to your support network. They are more easily accessible than some people, and they know you well, but not too well, so are able to offer help and words of advice from a less biased position.
Therapists and other Care Providers
Hopefully, you have an amazing therapist that you like, because they are a great source of support for you and have a wealth of knowledge to offer you about so many things. Likewise, some doctors or other care providers, particularly mental health care providers, are people you want on your team. They may be less accessible than some people in your life, but when you need them, they can come through for you.
You may have a mentor through school, church, or another program. This is your own personal coach, someone whose sole purpose as a mentor is to help you to make the best version of yourself. Don’t be shy. Take advantage of their generosity and learn from them. Do what they ask you, watch them, listen, and ask questions. They are here for you.
Using Your Personal Support Network
You can build your own personal support network from anyone who loves you, or whom you love and trust. You are never alone, there are always people in your life to help you. Let the appropriate people link up to help you, such as your parents communicating with the school, medical providers, and more because you will create a circle all around you of love and trust. Know who you can call in the middle of the night if you have a problem (parents, family and maybe neighbors,) and whom it’s appropriate to talk to with scheduled appointments (medical providers, some spiritual leaders, and school staff.) Even if you have that one amazing teacher you connect with, that teacher often has hundreds of other students, too, so be aware of how much time you are taking from them. When someone is not available, you have plenty of other people to turn to.
If life is like a sport, then you want to win in your life. You have a whole team of people to support you in winning. Talk to them, call them when you need help or advice, keep them in your life so that you have the backup that you need to succeed.
Embark is the most trusted name in teen and young adult mental health treatment. We’re driven to find the help you need. If you’re looking for support, contact us today!