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Program helps young people struggling with mental health challenges

Posted at 4:33 PM, Dec 28, 2020

The pandemic is having an impact on the mental health of many Americans. Young people are particularly feeling this with changes in learning and missed milestones.

In a new survey of 14 to 24-year-olds, Mental Health America found 24% of those surveyed think training adults would help with their mental health challenges.

About 47% said they want to learn more about how to help their own mental health, which is what one new program developed during the pandemic is trying to do.

“What we're hearing is that young people are depressed, that they have very little hope for the future, and they want skills to be able to help themselves and their peers,” said Martin Rafferty, CEO and founder of Oregon-based nonprofit Youth Era.

The program Uplift by Youth Era is a five-day event and training for young people.

“It’s giving them the skillsets to take a look around in their community and say I can be a part of change. I can help things even in this dark time,” said Rafferty. “You're not alone, and you are powerful and capable of making a difference.”

The training includes identifying signs of distress, building coping skills to use during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, and learning about self-care.

Oxford is studying the program and says so far, the results have been positive.

The people behind the program say teens have told them it feels more like an event than going to Zoom school.

If you know a young person who would benefit from this, they can get more information here.