The Rise Above: Eliminating Stigma in Youth Mental Wellness youth summit is a collaboration between the Touchstone Foundation and The Hood Hippie Love Yourself.
Throughout the summit students are challenged and encouraged to understand different perspectives when it comes to mental health. With each workshop that students participate in, they are tasked to build up their general knowledge of mental health, learn about resources and understand the nuances about what mental health is and isn’t. Students will also be asked to explore their creativity through different mediums of art.
Over the last few weeks we have had the pleasure of inviting high school students from around Lancaster County into our space for the spring series of workshops centered around mental health with local artists and professionals.
We’ve had a variety of workshops and conversations between the students and our Safe Space Coordinators (facilitators).
Session 1 Self Expression through Graffiti Art
Terian Mack, a local visual and music artist, shared his powerful personal story and engaged the students with a graffiti art workshop. He introduced the students like Jean Michel Basquiat and Banksy as professional artists know within the genre.
Session 2 Exploring Identity and Building Community
Our communications manager, Sobeida Rosa and local poet, DEI facilitator and activist, Brian Graves cofacilitated a workshop focused on encourage students to critically think about their identities. Through various activities, students built off their knowledge, utilized the people around them and thought about how to achieve their goals and create their own safe environments.
Session 1 Safe Dating for Teens
Nancy Messner, Community Educator at the Domestic Violence Services department of Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County spoke with students about safe dating. She discussed how to recognize the red flags of toxic and abusive dating relationships and how to keep yourself and loved ones safe.
Session 2 Youth Listening Tour
Our programs manager, Shanece Bowman and Spring intern, Sarah lead a focus group for students aimed to frame a conversation around what resources and services are needed in the community. A secondary purpose of the conversation was to raise awareness about mental health and help young people to begin thinking of these issues, decreasing the stigma towards mental health in the next generation.
Session 1 Understanding addiction, recovery and prevention
Jessica Miller, the Education and Advocacy Coordinator at RASE Project provided an educational workshop on the disease of addiction. The workshop overviewed how the disease of addiction affects the family, the benefits of medication assisted treatment, the multiple pathways to recovery, the lifesaving use of Naloxone, the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic, and what we can do as a community to help eliminate the stigma associated with the disease of addiction and the joys of living a life in recovery.
Session 2 Community Building Through Art: Zines, Mind Maps, and more
Salina Almanzar-Oree, local artist and Program Coordinator at PCA&D shared examples of zines, mind maps, and other materials used for community based artwork along with personal zines and artwork that explore identity and community. In this conversation based workshop, participants learned how to create their own zines and mind maps, and left with prompts to consider the communities they are a part of and the communities they want to create.
We appreciate our Safe Space Coordinators and student participants. We post about new opportunities to get involved on our social media and on our website.
We want to continue to grow and strengthen this program. We appreciate your support as we continue to build this bi-annual program. Currently we offer the program in the Spring and Fall for students but hope to expand capacity to the Summer and possibly the Winter.
Visit our Rise Above webpage to learn more about the program.