Editor’s Note: Congratulations to our next Channel Kindness Award winner Jasmin Jones! Thank you for helping us build a kinder and braver world!
Safe Space Stage: A continuance for our Mental Marathon is a 6-hour experience that creates a platform for our community to engage in honest and healthy dialogue about the mental health crisis affecting youth and young adults in our community. Safe Space Stage will resemble a conference format, with youthful insight and an interactive twist. As young adults, we understand the importance of making sure this educational platform has flavor, creativity, interactive activities, and dynamic speakers. We will have multiple breakout sessions facilitated by our community partners. This 6-hour event will provide Wild N’ Out Wednesdays Advisory Council and our community with the opportunity to engage in self-exploration, community enrichment, and discover tangible solutions to address this crisis that is destroying our peers.
This project was selected because the statistics alone are alarming. For example, studies show that African American females, grades 9-12, were 70 percent more likely to attempt suicide in 2017, as compared to non-Hispanic white females of the same age. Additionally, suicide is the second leading cause for college-age youth and ages 12-18. Within our advisory council, we have had four youth whom suffered with mental health and disclose to the group that they were contemplating suicide. Being that we are a youth-based program, we believe that we must create this platform and create a “safe space” where our peers can share their stories, explore underlying issues, discuss the stigma surrounding mental health and services, and identify healthy alternatives to address mental health and self-care.
We believe that we are providing the starting key points to raise health awareness within our community. Mental health has become a growing concern with the youth of the new generation, especially in urban communities, being that suicide has been the second leading cause of deaths in African Americans.
Our Advisory Council strongly believes that if you have the knowledge and know-how of something, then you are obligated to share that information with those around you. By sharing how to identify mental health concerns, resources available, effective self-care practices, and how to take care of your overall well-being, we will create healthier individuals that will lead to a healthier community. We want our community to know that it is okay to not be okay. We want to create this community platform, where people can have a solid support team to help them get through the tough times. Essentially, we want to share the love and support we have within our advisory council with our community.