This youth leadership and engagement initiative includes interactive training, design and implementation of Community Action Project (CAP) in their school community, and presentation of CAP at an event with their peers.
What Is Umatter® for Youth and Young Adults?
Umatter® for Youth and Young Adults (YYA) is a youth leadership and engagement initiative that includes interactive training, design and implementation of a Community Action Project (CAP) in their school community, and presentation of CAP at an event with their peers.
The goal is to promote mental health wellness including:
- Healthy coping mechanisms and help-seeking
- The ability to recognize when a peer needs help and how to provide it
- Foster healthy community cultures with youth for youth
- Address issues such as bullying, substance use, and suicide prevention
Core content and skills development include changing mindset, assessing personal strengths, building resiliency, and strategies to cope with stress, self-care, recognizing signs of distress in self and others, how to reach out for help and how to help a friend.
Elements of Umatter® YYA
- Kick Off Training Event where groups from each school come together to learn mental health wellness skills and become inspired to create a project to impact their community
- Umatter® Group Meetings at your school or community organization to work your way through the curriculum and reinforce the concepts and skills taught in the program
- Youth Facilitator Training for youth interested in leading workshops as part of their CAP
- Mental Health Wellness Community Action Project implemented in your local school or community organization
- Culmination Event where groups come together to present their CAP, learn from other groups, reflect on their experience, and inspire further action
Adult Facilitator Role
- Recruit youth from your school/organization: Create and implement recruitment plan for engaging a diverse group of youth from your school/organization.
- Participate in Umatter® YYA Virtual Kick-Off Training event: Complete and return the technology assessment from CHL for participating in the virtual event, organize student group to attend virtually, assist with making sure all resources and tools for the day have been received at the school, actively facilitate (with guidance from CHL) the experiential activities with your teams.
- Coordinate regular group meetings back at your school/organization: Facilitate activities to build group cohesion, reinforce curriculum content, and plan a Community Action Project (CAP).
- Maintain ongoing communication with Umatter Program Specialist and attend monthly (virtual meetings): You will receive regular emails providing group facilitation tips and activities; complete monthly report on group’s progress. Anyone from your team, youth or adult facilitator, can attend the monthly check in meetings.
- Support youth in carrying out a Mental Health Wellness CAP: Submit a brief one-page proposal including project costs and a final report.
- Celebrate, reflect, and inspire further action at culminating statewide event: Organize all facets of getting your group to and from the event. Support youth in preparing a presentation of their CAP. Provide feedback through written survey and focus group.
What is Umatter® YYA
Here are what Umatter® YYA participants are saying about their experience:
Umatter® helped me gain self-confidence and make new friends
I have definitely stepped up more as a leader… It’s cool that I can teach others about what I have learned and touch on the issue of suicide…. It’s good to have the knowledge about how we can help someone in that situation.
I like being a part of a group that is actively trying to improve the school and the life of students.
People should join Umatter® YYA if they want to make a difference in their communities. By normalizing the conversation on mental health, we help people feel less alone which ultimately brings people together.
Umatter® YYA Updates
“Developed By And For Youth!”
The promotion of primary care well visits is a project of the Umatter Youth and Young Adult program supported by the Vermont Department of Health.
Take Charge of Your Healthcare!
The Umatter® 2018-19 YYA Program is complete with 68 youth participants who implemented Mental Health Wellness Community Action Projects in their schools.
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.