As I write this, the most diverse, talented group of Peer Health Exchange college students yet are showing up for young people in communities nationwide.
This fall PHE college students will lead conversations on tough topics including how young people can give and get consent or how they can help a friend who is struggling with their mental health.
These topics remain central in the headlines—mental health in particular. While mental health is an issue for all young people, the headlines focus more on the perpetrators of mass shootings and the mental health warning signs that were missed for these men who are often white. The truth is that we should also be talking about and acting on mental health needs for Black and Latinx young folks.
Suicide attempts for Black young folks are majorly on the rise and are occurring at alarming rates among young Latinas. We know that factors like racial segregation and structural racism significantly contribute to trauma and stress for Black and Latinx young people.
Young people deserve to be safe and secure. At Peer Health Exchange, it’s our job to show up and help young people who may not have the language or the means to process this toxic stress. Through our curriculum, we aim to encourage help-seeking behaviors and connect young people with resources that can help them deal with the effects of cyberbullying, anxiety, depression, and many other life circumstances. We believe we can combat the stigma surrounding mental health for today’s youth and help save lives in the process.
We’re encouraged to see more states require mental health education! PHE is working to grow in partnership with communities to meet the needs of young people and be a part of the mental health (and beyond) education that young people so deeply deserve. Please join us in our efforts. If you know a school or community that needs this work, send them our way!
Co-Founder and CEO
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