Suicide is the second-leading killer of adolescents, aged 15-24, in the U.S. Suicide rates for girls are at a 40-year high. In Pennsylvania, 38% of youth in middle school and high school reported feeling depressed or sad most days in the past 12 months.
Youth from over 13 different schools in Allegheny and Beaver Counties have contributed to the current policy agenda. The youth want to
- View mental and physical health equally;
- Train teachers and teens in mental health;
- Build safe, supportive, and inclusive school communities;
- Address disparities in school resources;
- Reduce mental health stigma; and
- Recognize community trauma.
Although over a year old, our policy agenda published in the Post-Gazette on March 4, 2018 still rings true: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2018/03/04/Our-teens-are-in-crisis-here-s-what-we-can-do/stories/201803040014
Join us on Monday, May 6 by posting to your favorite social media platform. Tell the world why #mentalhealthmatters. Help us #breakthestigma.
Feel free to use or adapt one of the following:
- Positive mental health is essential & our youth don't get enough support – we need more mental health training for teachers & teens #mentalhealthmatters #breakthestigma
- Our teens deserve safe, supportive, and inclusive school communities #mentalhealthmatters #breakthestigma
- #MentalHealthMatters to me because we all struggle. We all need support. Let’s #breakthestigma and get help to those who need it. #allhealthequal
Also, download graphics to use as part of your post here: http://bit.ly/mentalhealth0506social
The teens will be meeting with the following elected officials or members of their staff. You can thank them (particularly if you live in their districts) with a tag on social media for taking the time to hear from youth about mental health:
State Representative Michael Schlossberg, chairman of the mental health caucus (@RepSchlossberg), State Representative Bob Freeman, State Representative Eddie Pashinski (@RepPashinski), State Representative Chris Rabb (@RepRabb), State Representative Mark Rozzi (@RepRozzi), State Representative Steve Samuelson (@RepSamuelson), State Representative Anita Kulik (@RepKulik), State Senator Jay Costa (@Senatorcosta), State Representative Dan Miller (@RepDanMiller), State Senator Camera Bartolotta (@senbartolotta), and State Representative Robert Matzie.