Foundations for Optimum Mental Health

Foundations for Optimum Mental Health

As an agency that focuses on supporting children, youth and families and providing mental health treatment, it is important for the staff at Maine Children's Home to think about their own mental health. We are sharing some links regarding facts, and private mental health screening tools as resources should you be interested in exploring this further for your work, your family or yourself. 

We have always talked with clients and staff who are coming for treatment or who are interested in learning more about issues related to mental health about how critical it is to first focus on the foundations for optimum mental healthThese include:


Even a 10-minute walk daily has a positive effect on our mental health!

News & Social Media

It is well documented that lengthy social media use and watching the news can lead to low-quality sleep and harm mental health. It has been linked with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.


“Drinking enough water every day is good for overall health. As plain drinking water has zero calories, it can also help with managing body weight and reducing caloric intake when substituted for drinks with calories, like regular soda. Drinking water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, mood change, the body to overheat, constipation, and kidney stones…”

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


We love this article about why drinking enough water is critical for our mental health and for the mental health of children and youth:


Here’s a helpful chart from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the recommended hours of sleep we should have per day based on our age:

Age Group Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day
Newborn (0–3 months) 14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)
Infant (4–12 months) 12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Toddler (1–2 years) 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Preschool (3–5 years) 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
School Age (6–12 years) 9–12 hours per 24 hours
Teen (13–18 years) 8–10 hours per 24 hours
Adult (18–60 years) 7 or more hours per night
Adults (61–64 years) 7–9 hours
Seniors (65 years and older) 7–8 hours


You can download a PDF version of this list of Foundations for Optimum Mental Health Here.