1 in 5 teens live with a mental health condition—half develop the condition by age 14 and three quarters by age 24. For some, experiencing the first signs can be scary and confusing. Discussing what you are going through with others is an important first step to getting help. Speaking up and asking for help is a sign of strength. You will be amazed by the support you get simply by asking.
A mental health condition isn’t your fault or your family’s fault—it develops for complicated reasons that researchers are only starting to understand. But we understand a lot about how you can live well with a mental health condition—and you have the power to take the steps necessary to improve your mental health. Mental health services and supports are available and the earlier you access them the better.
Early intervention is critical to treating mental illness before it can cause tragic results like serious impairment, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and suicide. Many teens and young adults live full lives with a mental health condition.
Ending the Silence is a 50-minute program designed for high school audiences and is typically presented in the freshman/sophomore health classes during the mental health portion of the curriculum. This transformational program is devoted to giving students an opportunity to learn about mental illness through an informative PowerPoint, short videos, and personal testimony. Through the presentation, students learn symptoms and indicators of mental illness, and are given ideas about how to help themselves, friends, or family members who may be in need of support.
How the Program Works:
The program is delivered by a trained two – person team, including an individual who relates to the student population by sharing their own journey with a diagnosable mental health condition.
Students are given a resource card with valuable phone numbers and websites for mental health agencies and youth support services along with a list of symptoms/warning signs of mental illness. At the conclusion of the presentation, postcards are mailed home to parents informing them of the program. Students are also given information regarding additional programs and services they can utilize for support.
A primary goal of this program is to create a generation of students that are well-positioned to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness through education and advocacy.