This year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week focuses on the power of lived experiences and elevating the voices of people with personal stories. We hope these powerful stories inspire and inform you.
More than one in five kids will be bullied at school this year. Parents, school faculty, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. Learn how you can support bullied youth and be a part of the solution.
This article by Executive Director Casey Caster appeared in TYC’s Youth + You email newsletter.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It offers an opportunity to check in with ourselves, our loved ones, our children, our students and colleagues. How are you really doing?
Often, we ask in passing, not really listening to the response. And too often, we reply with a perfunctory, “Good,” “Fine,” or “Great, how about you?” when we’re feeling anything but.
According to the CDC:
- More than half of us in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in our lifetime.
- One in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
- One in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
- One in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
This month, the National Alliance for Mental Health’s (NAMI) awareness campaign’s message is “Together for Mental Health.” We at The Youth Council join NAMI in bringing our voices together—this month and always—to advocate for access to mental health care, because no one should struggle to receive the support they need to thrive.
I couldn’t be prouder of our counselors and youth professionals here at The Youth Council, who provide critical mental health support to youth and families in Greater Nashua. From counseling in local schools, to individual therapy and support groups for youth, our team empowers local youth to take control of their mental health. But as our nationally-recognized youth mental health crisis demonstrates: There’s so much more to do.
We invite you to join us this month in lifting your voice for mental health awareness. There are many ways to help.
- Share messages and stories on your social media and in your daily life to normalize the conversation about mental health. Feel comfortable sharing your own story? There’s no better way to show that we’re all in this together.
- Check out the resources below and, if you know someone they could help, send it their way.
- If financially you’re able, donate to The Youth Council or any mental health-focused nonprofit organization you support. Your gift will go to improving access to mental health care for local youth.
Sign up here for monthly news delivered to your inbox!
With warm weather and April break on the horizon, a spring “screen” break to support your family’s mental and physical health may be just what you need.
Nashua’s Trysten McClain shares her personal experience with mental health and substance use disorders in this Concord Monitor opinion piece advocating for improved access to care.
This article by Executive Director Casey Caster appeared in TYC's Youth + You email newsletter.
In the year since stepping into my role as Executive Director at The Youth Council, I find myself inspired daily by the connections our team makes with so many local youth and their families navigating life’s ups and downs.
For those doing this work, the impact can often be hard to see in the moment, which is why our team kicks off each staff meeting with mission moments—stories that exemplify why we do what we do. One moment shared by Holly Mara, our Court Diversion Director, really sticks with me.
John (name changed) came to our juvenile court diversion program last year, referred by local police for breaking into his grandparents’ home. When he arrived for his intake meeting, he explained that his mom died from a drug overdose when he was a toddler, leaving him to be raised by his dad.
No matter what they’ve faced, all youth have what it takes to reach their potential. And no matter the obstacles, our team is here with tools and resources to support them along the way.
In 2021, John’s dad died from injuries suffered in a car accident. After his dad’s death, John continued living with his dad’s girlfriend. Due to a falling out between her and John’s paternal grandparents, he was not allowed to see them after his dad died. One day, John explained, he broke into their home to retrieve some of his dad’s things, resulting in his arrest.
Through diversion, our team learned this young man was deeply grieving the loss of his parents. He took part in a grief support group and got treatment for his anxiety, which he'd been coping with by using marijuana. Our staff also recommended John be evaluated for a learning disability based on some struggles he was having in school. After receiving an individualized education plan, John's behavior in school improved. Most importantly, with support from TYC, John reestablished a relationship with his grandparents, who now have guardianship.
John's story illustrates the hurdles faced by so many kids in our community, as well as their resilience. No matter what they’ve faced, all youth have what it takes to reach their potential. And no matter the obstacles, our team is here with tools and resources to support them along the way.
Sign up here for monthly news delivered to your inbox!