In Monterey County, California, things are not as sunny as they seem.
Did you know that,
- 35% Of high school freshman report feelings of depression
- 31% Of girls can’t find any and want support or services for stress
- 29% Of girls have experienced or know someone who has experienced suicide
- 70% Of girls have experienced or know someone who has experienced depression
- Suicide rate has nearly doubled in the last decade in Monterey County
Given these statistics, it is clear that youth need more support. GHGH Youth leaders have been researching which support resources could provide the most impact to youths’ socio-emotional heath and have decided to campaign county-wide for more non-academic counselors because:
- Non-academic counselors are trained to provide tools, skills and a safe space for students
- Non-academic counselors are a resource that are available to all students (anyone can be referred or self refer)
- Non-academic counselors are one of the most accessible services to young people because they are provided at schools during school hours. This is especially important in this population due to transportation costs and limited services.
Want to help GHGH get more counselors at schools? See the four easy steps below:
- Join our letter-writing campaign! Write a letter of support to your local school district leaders. See a template here. You can send it directly to your Superintendent or send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31st, 2016
- Attend a school board meeting and provide public comment in support! We will be presenting the letters collected from students, parents, staff, administrators and the community at large at 4 different districts in April 2016. We would love to have you join us! See our events calendar to know where and when.
- Participate in your school’s LCAP Funding survey (found on your school’s website) and state your support for funding of more non-academic counselors
- Follow us & keep in touch for action alerts on social media!
GHGH wants schools to better support the healthy emotional development of students as core to academic and life success and as an essential part of their mission. This campaign is part of our mission young people’s health in the county.
GHGH Wants to work with schools and community members
GHGH wants to meet with school district representatives, present at local school board meetings and help districts and the county to work together to allocate funding for school-based non-academic counselors, therapists and social workers. We are also working on educating youth in schools about the resources available to them to cope with mental health conditions and social and emotional health stressors.
Many Monterey County youth experience mental health conditions related to social and emotional health such as; stress, anxiety and depression.
Schools who provide more health professionals can greatly help support the health and success of their students, Early intervention and support by a mental health care professional is critical in helping youth overcome these common conditions and succeed in life and school. Research has shown that the number of school social workers has a significant positive influence on the number of youth completing high school and on positive school climate.
Monterey County youth are not the only ones impacted by a lack of social & emotional health resources. Nationally, youth are highly impacted by social & emotional health issues:
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people 10-24yrs
- 90% of youth who die of suicide have an underlying mental illness
- 70% of youth in state & local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness
- -$193.2 Billion is the cost in lost earnings/ year due to serious mental illness
- 50% of Students 14+ with a mental illness drop out of high school
To learn more about this issue see our blog on the importance and positive impact of counselor resources at schools.