Most American teenagers — across demographic groups — see depression and anxiety as major problems among their peers, a new survey by the Pew Research Center found. The survey found that 70 percent of teenagers saw mental health as a big issue.
At ASHA International, our youth Storytellers are dedicated to sharing their stories to give hope and let their peers know they are not alone, and encourage them to get the help they need to recover and thrive. Together, we are creating a safe space where students can talk about their struggles and support each other with empathy and compassion.
Here is feedback from students about our Let‘s Talk About Mental Health Program at local high schools in February:
“Right now, I’m going through something really hard. But the presentations have convinced me that recovery is possible and I can get over it.”
“Very inspiring! As a person struggling with anxiety, this program was very uplifting & safe.”
“I’ve been struggling with my mental health for years and never asked for help and like the storyteller said – she tried to commit suicide and nobody knew – that’s what happened to me. The storytellers made me realize in order to feel better, I must seek help.”
“Some of my friends are dealing with mental illnesses and the presentation gave me a different view on it, and how to help them.”
“I went to the same middle school as the Storyteller, and it is comforting to know that there are people at my school who can help me with my problems.”
“The personal stories were very inspiring and impactful than everything else.”
“The storytellers reminded me that I am not alone, and provided me with new resources.”
“The stories closely related to events in my life, and helped encourage me to continue to try to put effort into improving my mental health.”
“I go through a lot of anxiety and depression. And, this presentation really helped me open up to the people I trust.”
“I appreciated the presentation because I have always wondered why we don’t discuss the most “teenage” things – relationships, drugs, emotions, and how it is hard to deal with sometimes. Thanks for giving it a voice.”
“It was very beneficial to hear the stories of the struggles the storytellers went through. Each story had an element that resonated with me. I could see people breathing a sigh of relief that they were not alone. I think the program should be presented in all schools, especially middle schools.”
By talking about our mental health openly, we can make a huge impact. Join us in shattering the stigma!