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Teen Mental Health Proclamations Signed by Gov. Josh Shapiro & County Commissioners Across PA

The PA Youth Advocacy Network recognized May 23rd as Teen Mental Health Awareness Day with a proclamation from Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro.

Youth advocates also were present virtually and in person at meetings across the Commonwealth as their proclamation was passed and recognized by commissioners in Allegheny, Berks, Chester, Luzerne, and Montgomery counties. The proclamations were drafted by high school students in the PA Youth Advocacy Network.

The proclamations raised awareness of the percentage of youth in the county and across the state who report feeling sad most days in the past 12 months or had seriously considered suicide, while also combatting stigma by using their platform to share the message that "being diagnosed with a mental health condition is not a weakness, or something to be ashamed of, and it is important to recognize that anyone can experience poor mental wellbeing and deserves to be shown care and compassion to ensure comfort in reaching out for help."

Youth advocates elevated their platform on Teen Mental Health Awareness Day calling for mental health education in schools, excused mental health days, and for teens to be welcomed to the table to be heard in the policymaking process.

Since 2018, the PA Youth Advocacy Network, a program of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, has activated youth and adults across Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania to call for change and promote teen mental health with skills-building and advocacy opportunities.

This is the third year in which Teen Mental Health Awareness Day has been recognized with proclamations authored by PA Youth Advocacy Network youth advocates: Mohammad Shedeed, Brooklyn Williams, Brynne McSorley, Mary Zagrocki, Ja'Nya Coleman, Minji Kim, Emily Kwon, Mia Bella, Ishani Bansal, Vanesa Aguay, Tyler Nolt, Anna Chong, and Giavanna Cella.

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