Saturday, February 24, 2024
Community support vital for improving mental health.

Community support vital for improving mental health.

How governors can improve youth mental health

The youth mental health crisis has been identified by Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy as the defining health issue of our time. To effectively respond to this crisis, it is crucial for state policymakers and local advocates to prioritize the needs, values, and traditions of those most affected.

Identity, a multi-service organization primarily serving Latino youths and families in Montgomery County, has witnessed the long-standing and pandemic-exacerbated youth mental health crisis in the community. The organization emphasizes the importance of recognizing that mental health support is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

In the Latino community, a culture of neighborly support during challenging times exists. Individuals often find it easier to open up to peers rather than professionals. Identity’s Encuentros program addresses this by training trusted members of the Latino community to lead peer-based emotional support groups. This approach has proven to be effective, with participants reporting improved stress and anxiety management and the ability to help family members facing similar challenges. Referrals to clinical care are provided to those who require additional assistance.

Over the past three years, more than 2,000 parents and teenagers have participated in the Encuentros program. This highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing unique challenges and cultural sensitivities in order to provide effective mental health support to individuals regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, income level, or access to healthcare.

While no single program can entirely solve the youth mental health crisis, embracing the principle of Encuentros – coming together – can contribute to creating a meaningful and lasting difference.


About Clio Nguyen

Introducing the brilliant Clio Nguyen, an esteemed author on our blog with a true dedication to health and wellness. With an impressive depth of knowledge and a commitment to staying on the cutting edge of research and trends, Clio offers invaluable insights and advice that will empower her readers to achieve a healthy life. Join her on this transformative journey and discover the keys to a healthier, happier you!

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