Umatter YYA participants presenting their work.
The Umatter for Youth and Young Adults (Umatter YYA) program for 2018-19 is complete! Overall, 12 schools and 68 youth participated and implemented Mental Health Wellness Community Action Projects in their school. Some of the projects were really insightful and creative:
Our group decided to create a workshop for 6th grade students about how to deal with stress/worries because we wish we had gotten this information when we were younger. We met weekly to design our workshop and decided to use ClassDojo - short online videos with discussion questions about changing mindset for younger children. Unfortunately we were unable to present the workshop before the end of the year, but plan to pick the project back up in the fall.
This fall, our group planted a tulip garden for The Yellow Tulip Project, as a way to smash the stigma surrounding mental illness, build community, and inspire productive conversations about how to combat the rising rates of suicide. In the spring, we had a Yellow Tulip Celebration. We had all kinds of food, and we did a "kindness rocks" project (over 50 river rocks were painted yellow and students took paint markers and wrote kind messages on the rocks to give to friends, keep for themselves, or put in the garden). We also had a "Hope Happens" poster where people wrote down what makes them hopeful. Next fall we plan to do the "I Am More" campaign, which we hope will help draw other people into the cause/club.
A detailed list of all projects is attached to this Report.
To culminate the success of the program, six schools attended the Youth Summit event on May 30, 2019 at Vermont Technical College. The Umatter Youth Leadership Council did an amazing job facilitating the day. Each group shared about their Community Action Projects, reflected on their experience as a group, and planned next steps.
Here are what Umatter YYA participants are saying about their experience:
“Umatter helped me gain self-confidence and make new friends”
“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 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.
A new Umatter YYA program will begin this Fall. Please continue to support this important program that reaches our youth and gives them the tools and skills for positive mental health in their schools and communities!
Presentation at the Technical CollegeAttachments: