Umatter for Youth and Young Adults
Umatter for Youth and Young Adults is a youth leadership and engagement initiative. The goal is to promote mental health wellness: healthy coping mechanisms among youth and young adults, and the ability to recognize when a peer needs help and how to provide it. The aim is to foster healthy community cultures for youth and young adults that promote mental health and resiliency, and which address issues such as bullying and substance abuse prevention within a continuum from prevention through recovery. Students participating in this training program:
- Gain skills to address stress and promote positive responses to life challenges that can be used personally;
- Learn to recognize when a friend may be in trouble and have the knowledge of how to direct that person to the help they need; and
- Identify ways to improve wellness through the design and completion of a community project.
The program can be implemented in a one day event or in multiple sessions comprised of workshops for youth and young adults to learn about promoting positive mental health. Youth and young adults then utilize the information they learn and share it with others through the development of a local community action project. Currently, the program is being developed for implementation in local settings over multiple sessions, with a peer development model and workbook for individualized learning.
If you would like to learn more about implementing the Umatter for Youth and Young Adult Initiative in your school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
2017-2018 Program Highlights
On December 5, 2017, the Umatter for Youth and Young Adults (Umatter YYA) Initiative kicked off its third year. The kickoff event, which focused on activities dedicated to understanding stress from a positive mental health wellness lens — including resilience and growth mindset strategies — constituted the beginning of a semester-long program, concluding on May 3, 2018, engaging students around Vermont. Nine school and/or community groups participated in this year’s program, which included 49 youth participants and 16 youth group leaders.
The following activities took place:
- December 2017 Kickoff Training
- Six ( 6) short sessions conducted at each group’s local school or community site from January to March 2018.
- Students planned and executed their Community Action Projects from March to May 2018. Such events involved a variety of interactive activities, informational materials and community or peer speakers with a focus on de-stigmatizing mental health challenges, connecting students across their social circles, and to identify top issues facing youth in Vermont.
- Culmination Event was held on May 3, 2018 at which additional training was provided and group Projects were presented.
Student participants created the content for a poster titled “13 Ways We Promote Mental Health” which we are happy to share here. Please feel free to download and post in your school or community.