Participants in the PA Youth Advocacy Network's Teen Mental Health Advocacy
Series put their learning into practice by creating an action guide around a mental health advocacy issue of their choice. The guide consists of a series of student-created final projects which provide background about a mental health topic and offer ideas and tools to act.
Launched in February of this year, the second annual series aimed to connect Pennsylvania high school students with advocacy skills, such as communicating their cause, using data for advocacy, and coalition-building. The 19 youth who participated in the Series are in 9-12 grade and represent seven counties across Pennsylvania.
The action guide is the culminating project of the Advocacy Series, which builds on JHF's years of effort to call for change in teen mental health through the PA Youth Advocacy Network. Students were dedicated to ensuring and equipping others to take action to address mental health in their community beyond the time of their involvement in the program. "In a time when there is an immense focus on addressing mental health, it is important to elevate and share teen generated solutions," said JHF Policy Associate Sarah Pesi, MSPPM.
Topics in the action guide include: Mental health stigma, supporting peers' mental health, substance abuse prevention, period poverty anxiety, LGBTQ+ youth mental health, sexual abuse and violence prevention, equity in mental health, telehealth options, and affordability of mental health. Download the Action Guide here.