Hi! I work with young people in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. There is an institutional void in our schools and youth programming to address the challenges with mental health. I’d like to create an MHPSS based platform to fill this need. I know that most resources on the network are for children in third-world countries but there is a pressing need to increase youth participation and youth voice even in the United States where social media and a culture of comparison has created a sense of self-hatred and increased suicide rates in our nation.
I would hope to learn from other theories, resources, and sustainable practices around the world who are prioritizing the human dignity of their young people. Our youth continuously express in focus group after focus group that their biggest need is to care for the mental health. With creating an MHPSS platform, my hope would be to resource our schools with free mandatory counseling for young people and their families, reduce the stigma and raise awareness around mental illness, and develop encouraging workshops that allow for peer-to-peer support networks to be established – especially among at-risk youth in our inner-city neighborhoods.