The power of stories
Stories connect and comfort us in our shared struggles, help us know that we are not alone, and give us HOPE to cope, survive and thrive. Personal stories have the power to save lives and create social change. Our story is our SUPERPOWER!
ASHA International’s My Story My SUPERPOWER High School Program provides students the platform to destigmatize mental illness and promote mental health and wellbeing through the power of personal stories.
Our goal is to empower students to share their mental health stories through prose, poetry, music or art within the school year. ASHA International will mentor students and provide a grant of up to $500 to support the program.
Why youth mental health matters:
- 1 in 5 children and adolescents in the United States struggles with a mental health condition that interferes with daily functioning. Yet, nearly 80% of these children do not receive the care they need.
- 50% of mental illnesses begin before the age of 14 and 75% of mental illnesses begin before age 24.
- It can take 8 to 10 years between the onset of mental illness symptoms and receiving treatment.
- Mental health conditions are a leading impediment to the health and wellbeing of high school and college students. Left untreated, mental health conditions – including anxiety, depression and eating disorders, can lead to school failure, family conflicts, substance abuse, violence, juvenile & criminal justice involvement, and suicide.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24.
We want to empower students to share their stories to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, and engage their peers and their communities in a conversation about mental health and wellbeing. We want to mentor students to become the Champions of Change!
Growing evidence shows that when schools address mental health and wellness, they can boost academic achievement, reduce absenteeism, increase graduation rates and overall student wellbeing.
In the Media
Youth share their mental health stories in an attempt to shatter the stigma
Together, we can end the culture of fear, shame, and stigma surrounding mental illness, and build communities of hope, empathy and inclusion where all students can learn and thrive.