May is Mental Health Awareness Month
In an increasingly fast-paced and demanding world, mental health has emerged as a critical issue affecting individuals of all ages. However, for youth navigating the complexities of education and feeling the weightiness of their futures, the need for mental health support is critical. Recognizing this, we believe it’s important for us to play a role in championing mental health conversations and prioritizing support for young adults. That’s why Youth Solutions continues to try to break the silence by recognizing the importance of mental health awareness during the month of May and throughout the year.
Despite its prevalence, discussing mental health remains a challenging topic for many, especially our youth. It’s so important that we overcome this difficulty and engage in open conversations about mental health. By sharing our experiences and creating an environment of openness with understanding, we can remove the stigma surrounding mental health. At Youth Solutions, we believe it is part of our responsibility to initiate these discussions, promote compassion, and pave the way for a more inclusive society where everyone can thrive.
One way we do this is through our Coffee With a Purpose forum. During these panel discussions, we tackle important issues that affect our youth. Mani Mesh, a Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) Alumnus and Youth Advisory Council member from Windover High School, has been a continuous advocate for mental health and spoke on Coffee With a Purpose: Youth Discuss Mental Health and the Impact of Social Emotional Learning in May, 2022.
“Talking about mental health isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. The more we open up and share our experiences, the more we can break down the stigma and create a safe and supportive community. As young people, we need to start talking openly and honestly about mental health, breaking down the stigma and creating a culture of compassion and understanding," said Mesh.
There is power in creating an open dialogue in an environment where all people feel as if they are secure and belong. By initiating open conversations, we create a space where individuals feel comfortable sharing their experiences, concerns, and challenges. Honest discussions can help normalize mental health struggles and highlight that seeking support is not a sign of weakness but a strength. By opening up, we can encourage others to do the same, fostering an environment where no one feels alone in their struggles.
We believe that it’s important to facilitate these discussions for young people because they have the unique opportunity to lead the charge in transforming the conversations about mental health. Helping them, we can create a cultural shift that embraces compassion, empathy and understanding. When we are able to foster this type of openness in an educational environment or workplace, we empower our youth to change the narrative around mental health and achieve a future beyond imagination.
Breaking the stigma around mental health starts with each one of us. By embracing open dialogue, sharing our experiences and asking for the help we need, together we can create a safe and supportive community that understands and empathizes with mental health challenges. We’re in this together. We’d like to know more about how you advocate, prioritize and support mental health issues. Share your tips on our social media channels or contact us on our website.