As we have now passed the one year mark since the first official diagnosis in the United States for Covid, we find ourselves still fighting for well being both physically and mentally. While we have a broadened understanding of ways to treat the physical illness, and new vaccines available to help with building immunity, we do still appreciate that we are far from being able to say we are through this. The reality is that we are fighting two pandemics, one being Covid, the other being the increasing impact on our mental well being. I think it is reasonable to refer to the increase the data is showing for anxiety, depression and substance use as the second pandemic we face.
- Research from the CDC and other sources, show for teens, an alarming increase in:
- Suicidal Ideation/behavior
- Loss of loved ones
- Social Isolation and missing friends
- Worries about falling behind academically
- Struggling with loss of routine and activities
These are huge challenges for anyone, but for teens who do not always have the strength of resilience and grit to navigate challenges, we know they are being hugely impacted and feel the weight emotionally as we all live with so much uncertainty.
Youth Health Connection, in partnership with “Our Minds Matter”, are bringing to our communities a positive mental health program that is club based, teen led, activities focused. Our Minds Matter is in ______ schools across the United States. We are thrilled that we will become a part of the Our Minds Matter movement and will be able to help teens feel connected and empowered. OMM promotes the protective factors:
- Help Seeking
- Social Connectedness
- Self Care and Healthy Habits
- Pro Social Skills
It is our goal to bring to every teen, every school, every community the capacity to connect and develop real life tools to reduce risk and increase resiliency. We must not allow the “Pandemic of Mental Health” needs to be silenced. By coming together, by empowering teens and giving them the necessary tools and resources, we can marshall our forces positively.
For more information about “Our Minds Matter”, and how to implement it in your school and community, please reach out to us!
“We are all in this together”…..