Teen Mental Health Awareness
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We hope to bring awareness to teen mental health, which is seen as taboo in our present society. More teens suffer from mental health issues than we'd like to admit. Closing our eyes to it will not make it go away.
The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students to 1 counselor. Currently, in New York, there is a ratio of 650 to 1. This is our call for help to bring about change that can be the tipping point in the lives of teens all over. This ratio of students to counselors is an unfortunate challenge we are facing at our school, the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice, here in Brooklyn New York. We urge all NYC Legislators and DOE decision-makers to budget out more funding for schools to hire certified counselors and social workers to boost support for teen mental health.
Through our advocacy project, we thoroughly researched several programs that our school could implement; our final ideas included three programs: Kognito, a Teen Mental Health Resource Center, and an additional counselor. Through Kognito, teachers would be required to take a mandatory training to help students who may experience depression or signs of depression so they are better equipped with addressing such problems in a school environment. Our second idea was establishing a Teen Mental Resource center that would provide useful information to students who are uncomfortable with approaching the guidance counselor about their mental health problems. Lastly, we want the school to change the budget to include an additional counselor so that the workload can be lessened on our counselor and so students have another experienced adult to approach and discuss their issues with.
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