Resilient Georgia is excited to share information and resources from our June General Meeting on Teen Mental Health, where we brought together experts and advocates in the Georgia behavioral health space to discuss their work around adolescent well-being.
Teenagers can be hard to decipher at times, but one point is clear: teens need large amounts of support to overcome the staggering odds of having mental illness. With rates of teen mental illness already higher than the adult population and continuing to rise in the wake of the turbulent COVID-19 pandemic, our duty to provide preventative, effective care has never been more urgent. In addition to improving quality of life for teens, addressing early symptoms of mental illness may help prevent larger issues down the line such as serious health complications, incarceration, and suicide. It’s imperative that we tackle this issue, yet it can be challenging to know the best way to help.
For many, the trends around teen mental health may feel frightening and overwhelming. Luckily, support is available. This article discusses ways that parents can help teens leverage the stress that characterized the pandemic by teaching healthy coping mechanisms. More broadly, this resource page covers a broad range of topics that can be particularly tricky for adolescents. Finally, these videos by Voices for Georgia’s Children highlight the perspectives of children on the hardships of facing mental illness while growing up — and can help adults understand better ways to offer support.
Our June General Meeting shed some much needed light on the state of teen mental health and promoted the plans of our wonderful partners to uplift teens in the Georgia community and beyond. We hope you’ll take the time to listen to the recording (see agenda with time stamps and summaries below), and spread the word about what you learned. For more information on the organizations and programs highlighted in the video, please visit ourGeneral Meeting Homepage or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resilient Georgia March General Meeting: Teen Mental Health Agenda
- Welcome (0:00), Emily Anne Vall, PHD (Resilient Georgia Executive Director)
- Overview of Teen Mental Health (1:38), Gabriel Kuperminc, PhD
Dr. Kuperminc is a Psychology and Public Health Professor at Georgia State University who shares our passion and commitment to serving youth. He led the way into our discussion around teen mental health by conceptualizing adolescence, presenting and interpreting teen trends, and sharing some of the work (including his own research) being done to promote resilience in this population.
- Child Focused Advocacy (22:47), Interfaith Children’s Movement
Interfaith Children’s Movement is a grassroots advocacy group seeking to promote well-being in children. Their highlighted project Interfaith Children's Movement Youth Alliance Academy for Social Justice is a platform where youth (ages 12-18) can learn about how to mobilize and advocate for themselves and their communities.
- TEENISH Savannah Podcast Introduction (33:31), Gateway Community Service Board
This year, Resilient Georgia regional grantee coalition Gateway Community Services Boardlaunched TEENISH, a podcast for and by Savannah Youth. TEENISH does an incredible job of diving into personal and systemic issues around mental health. To learn more about the work they are doing, check out their Instagram @teenish912.
- The Intersection of Teen Pregnancy Prevention & Mental Health (38:50), Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential
The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential (GCAPP) is an organization serving youth specifically in five target areas: Youth Empowerment, Comprehensive Sex Ed, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Parent Engagement, and Physical Activity & Nutrition. Teen birth rates have dropped by 71% since the founding of GCAPP; much of this can be attributed to GCAPP and similar organizations’ initiatives for prevention. Additionally, their parent toolkit assists parents in navigating open conversations around sensitive topics.
- Teen Mental Health Collective (44:43), VOX ATL
VOX ATL is a platform where teens are creating a stronger, more equitable community through leadership and self-expression. Their Teen Mental Health Collective empowers teens to build community and create informative content around mental health. Follow the link to learn more and apply. Lastly, VOX ATL is currently seeking to understand the needs and concerns of teens across Georgia through this survey, which offers participants the chance to win up to $100.
- Championing Resiliency for Vulnerable Youth with the Community Resilience Model (50:51), Christopher Wolf Crusade & Usher’s New Look
The Christopher Wolf Crusade is a non-profit offering preventative solutions, education, and advocacy for the American opioid epidemic. Usher’s New Look is another non-profit providing under-resourced youth programming for leadership, service, and career development. Together they are training teens in the Community Resilience Model (CRM) while incorporating perspectives of racial justice and substance abuse prevention.
- Favorite Teen Songs Group Activity (56:06)
We took a quick break from our partner’s wonderful teen mental health presentations to ask participants what their favorite song as a teen was. For a kick of nostalgia, check out our playlist with all participant’s picks.
- Black Boys, Barbers, and Their Families (57:21), The Confess Project
The Confess Project is the first national initiative empowering barbers to engage Black and brown young men in meaningful conversations about wellness. They do so by training barbers to be advocates and listeners who can effectively reduce stigma around mental health in their communities.
- The SPOT (Supporting People Overcoming Trouble) (1:07:41), Chris 180
Chris 180 is an organization providing children and families with behavioral health programs including counselling, housing and adoption assistance, group homes, and more. Their drop-in center The SPOT offers trauma-informed care, basic resources, life and job skills training, therapy, and housing assistance for emerging adults.
- Resilient Teens (1:11:42), Augusta University & Partners
Resilient Teens is a Resilient Georgia Regional Grantee Coalition increasing the ability of the Augusta community to address PACE’s and adopt trauma-informed care. Their virtual Road to Resilience program connects adolescents with Augusta University medical students who mentor the teens and provide valuable methods for coping with stress and other mental health challenges.
- Trauma-Informed Mindfulness-Based Yoga (TIMBY) Intervention (1:17:03), Georgia State University & Georgia Dept. of Juvenile Justice
The Trauma-Informed Mindfulness-Based Yoga Intervention is a program offering yoga classes to youth in the Georgia Dept. of Juvenile Justice system. Their efforts are a part of aresearch initiative assessing the efficacy of yoga practices in increasing self-regulation for teens involved with the juvenile justice system. To learn about the classes currently offered, check out this partnering website.
- Free Your Feels Campaign (1:31:27), Voices for Georgia’s Children & Georgia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
The Free Your Feels Campaign, created by Voices for Georgia’s Children and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, uplifts youth in sharing their struggles around mental health. They provide free educational resources, instant access to mental health professionals, and support for kids and families, in the hopes of transforming lives and shifting the narrative around mental health.
- Girls Empowering Movement (1:36:22), HealthMPowers
HealthMPowers is a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy habits in children through nutrition education and positive physical activity. The Girls Empowering Movement is equipping Georgia’s middle school girls to improve coping skills, physical activity, and fitness levels. By conducting learning in a supportive social-emotional climate, the girls are further empowered to become leaders and champions of health in their schools and communities.
ABOUT US: Resilient Georgia is a statewide coalition of more than 100 partners committed to building a stronger, more resilient Georgia. Through a network of public and private partners, Resilient Georgia is creating a pipeline of trauma-informed behavioral health services and resources that support child and family wellness. This integrated system includes prevention, early intervention, research, advocacy and policy, and System of Care implementation and coordination. For more information about our work, check out the Resilient Georgia website. You can also find us on social media: @resilientgeorgia on Instagram and @resilientga on Facebook.