Coping Catcher

Increasingly, mental health is an important topic for young people. Young people report increased stress and feelings of isolation. When we are struggling, we often turn to coping mechanisms–or, ways to relieve/address stress or numb feelings. Coping mechanisms can either support health or negatively impact it. One way some young people cope is through using substances, such as tobacco products (vaping, smoking). Contrary to messages from the tobacco and vape industry, research shows that quitting tobacco improves treatment outcomes for substance use and mental health conditions (Truth-Mental Health). During moments of stress or anxiety we may forget about the many healthy coping strategies that are available to us, which puts us at risk for turning to less healthy options. Slowing down our thoughts in times of high stress/anxiety can help remind us to pause, identify what we’re feeling, and choose a healthy coping skill.