Jul 18, 2018

Umatter for Youth and Young Adults Program Highlights

The 2017-2018 Umatter for Youth and Young Adults Program (Umatter YYA) concluded on May 3, 2018 with a Culmination Event that brought back schools and community groups which participated in the program throughout the year.  

Umatter YYA is a youth leadership and engagement initiative which promotes mental health wellness: developing healthy coping mechanisms among youth and young adults, and increasing the ability to recognize when a peer needs help and how to provide it.

Over the past six months, school groups across Vermont 1) engaged in a day of interactive training with peers statewide, 2) participated in six short training sessions at their local school settings, and 3) designed and implemented a local Community Action Project around mental health promotion.  A total of 49 youth and 16 adult facilitators across nine different schools participated in the program this year. 

Examples of some of the Community Action Projects conducted include the following:

  • Mental Health Mondays
  • Reach Out Day
  • Health & Wellness Day
  • Community Dialogue Night

These events involved a variety of interactive activities, information materials, and community or peer speakers with a focus on de-stigmatizing mental heatlh challenges, connecting students across their social circles, and to identify top issues facing youth in Vermont. 

After completing the training, the majority of youth participants responded either "Very True for Me" or "Mostly True for Me" to the following statements:

  • I understand the difference between a Fixed and a Growth Mindset.
  • I am confident that I can identify strenghts in myself to help when I am feeling down.
  • I can recognize warning signs in a friend who is experiencing distress.
  • I know someone to go to when I or my friends are experiencing mental health challenges.

Youth participants created a poster "13 Ways to Promote Mental Health"  which can be viewed in attachment below.

To help us continue this important youth mental health initiative and increase our ability to expand to other school settings, please consider a recurring donation to provide long term support of this program. Click on the Give Now button below.


Attachments:
May 15, 2018

Big thanks to Betsy LeBlanc for her fundraiser!

Betsy and her pup walk the Long Trail!
Betsy and her pup walk the Long Trail!

Thanks so much to Betsy LeBlanc for her fundraising effort for Umatter and the VT Suicide Prevention Center!

Betsy is implemeting a community awareness project called: "No One Has to Walk Alone". Her mission is to foster an open conversation about suicide and the surrounding mental health issues in an inclusive, stigma free environment so that "no one has to walk alone."

According to the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center, Vermont has the 11th highest rate of suicide in the nation, with 118 suicides in 2016, an average of two deaths per week. However, because of societal stigma, these deaths are often not reported or mentioned in obituaries, with the result that suicide is not recognized for the public health crisis that it is. 

This July, Betsy, with her dog Sam, will hike the 272 mile Long Trail, one our country's most beautiful and challenging long distance trails. She is hiking to support Umatter Suicide prevention, a national best practices program.

Betsy has created a special fundraising page here on the Global Giving site.  The public is encouraged to follow Betsy and Sam's progress by visiting the "No One Has Walk Alone" page, like her page on Facebook and share it and follow her on Instagram @elisabeth_betsy_leblanc.

By supporting "No One Has to Walk Alone' we can work together as a community to understand and prevent suicide.

Apr 20, 2018

VT Youth Learn About and Promote Mental Health!

Umatter YYA workbook
Umatter YYA workbook

On May 3, 2018, school and community groups from across Vermont will attend a Culminating Event in Barre, VT as part of the 2017-18 Umatter for Youth and Young Adults (Umatter YYA) Initiative.

Umatter YYA is a youth leadership and engagement initiative which promotes mental health wellness: developing healthy coping mechanisms among youth and young adults, and increasing the ability to recognize when a peer needs help and how to provide it.

Over the past five months, nine school/community groups engaged in a day of interactive training with peers statewide, participated in short training sessions at the school setting, and participated in the design and implementation of a local Community Action Project.

The Culmination Event on May 3rd will bring the groups back together to receive additional training and to share their Community Action Projects.

Learn More About the Umatter YYA Program

Umatter teaches about distress and how to help
Umatter teaches about distress and how to help
 
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