What Does a Safe Space for Mental Health Look Like?


What Does a Safe Space for Mental Health Look Like?

Adolescents struggling with their mental health may have a variety of symptoms. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are often overlooked as behavioral issues or a part of their development. However, this lack of attention to a teen’s mental health can be very detrimental to their development. Sustain Recovery offers a safe space for mental health treatment, where adolescents are nurtured and inspired to improve their awareness and learn how to manage and improve their mental health. Each adolescent has unique needs, but a safe space can facilitate and nurture the healing process.

Adolescent Mental Health

Mental health disorders are common among adolescents; about 20% struggle with a mental health disorder. Additionally, about 50% of mental health disorders start in adolescence. Therefore, the beginning of a mental health disorder is commonly seen at this age. Among such disorders, anxiety and depression are two of the most common.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression are often disregarded or left unaddressed as they begin to develop. However, getting treatment for mental health early on is incredibly effective and helpful for an adolescent. Common symptoms an adolescent is beginning to struggle with their mental health include low energy, sleeping a lot, and a lack of interest in activities and socializing. Additionally, many adolescents struggling with mental health will use drugs or alcohol or engage in high-risk behaviors.

A Safe Space for Mental Health Healing

Having a safe space for mental health healing is important. While treatment will look different for each adolescent, a safe space will be one of acceptance, structure, and individualization. This will help an adolescent own and care for their mental health needs along with the support of mental health professionals.


Acceptance is one of the primary needs for a safe space for mental health healing. Unfortunately, for many adolescents, their mental health challenges are seen as behavioral issues for which they are constantly in trouble. However, while mental health disorders can cause behavioral issues, they need to be addressed at the root cause rather than simply the behaviors.

In an accepting environment, adolescents work with mental health care providers. This may include individual, group, or family therapy. However, regardless of the type of treatment, the mental health care provider accepts and nurtures the adolescent. This looks like encouraging them to expand their awareness and believe in their experiences regarding their mental health.


Along with acceptance, having structure is another important component that helps an adolescent feel safe. A structure oriented toward improving and addressing mental health disorders will look different for each adolescent. However, it will often include a structured routine that prioritizes sleep, exercise, nutrition, and counseling. This structure creates a schedule that in itself will help improve mental health.

Every adolescent will thrive in a slightly different schedule or style of structure. However, when they find a structure that works well for them, they will find safety. Mental health disorders can leave an adolescent feeling anxious and lost. A structure gives them something to lean on when they are uncertain. This helps them to feel more confident and safe when exploring their mental health.


For an adolescent, trying to fit into an expectation that is not their reality is stressful. When an adolescent is struggling with a mental health disorder, they may already feel the pressure of trying to act and feel like others. However, an adolescent cannot control what they need and how they feel, and individualization can help them feel safe and supported.

Individualization in mental health treatment at Sustain Recovery means creating a structure and treatment plan that addresses the need of a specific adolescent. Since mental health disorders, addiction, and trauma commonly go together, each adolescent’s plan will address what they need treatment for and the type of treatment that will be most effective for them.

When an adolescent is addressed and treated as an individual, they are acknowledged as a whole and unique person. This helps them to feel safe. Additionally, it provides a space to explore and expand their awareness. In doing so, they are more likely to improve their understanding of themselves and how they can help care for their mental health needs.

Value of a Safe Space for Mental Health

Having a safe space for mental health is very valuable for adolescents. Adolescents are in a period of development and change. Therefore, it is the perfect time to learn skills that will help them to care for their needs and thrive, both now and later in life. A safe space facilitates self-exploration, improvement of awareness, and trying out ways to care for their own needs. Change is a scary and challenging thing; however, it is necessary for an adolescent to heal. A safe space provides the support needed to face the associated challenges.

At Sustain Recovery, adolescents experience a place of safety, structure, and individualized care. This environment is nurturing, inspires healing, and teaches each teen to acknowledge and care for their mental health, both now and in the future. Every adolescent is unique, and at Sustain Recovery, we provide individualized treatment at every level of care so that adolescents can healthily get the treatment that is most helpful for them. To learn more about us, our treatment programs, or how we provide a safe space for adolescent mental health treatment, call us today at (949) 407-9052. Our staff looks forward to speaking with you and answering any questions that you may have.