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Student create an alliance to help her peers dealing with mental health struggles

Shared by sara.di.fabio@p... on 2020-05-12 11:38

About the solution

Allison Tu, a student at duPont Manual High School, in 2016 started the Student Alliance for Mental Health Innovation and Action (StAMINA) because she felt her friends and peers struggling with mental health issues were not taken care of.

“I saw a lot of my friends at my high school and in the state, peers, who were really struggling, some with mental health issues, and some with everyday stress and everyday sadness, and probably some undiagnosed disorders,” Allison said. “There didn’t seem to be anyone doing anything about it."

StAMINA was born when Allison brought together friends from school and across the state to brainstorm. “We want to raise awareness among students and encourage advocates,” Allison said. “We want to break down the stigma. We want to start and change the conversation.”

Up to 2019, the team included 12 members from all across the state of Kentucky and the work of the organisation is virtual. Their first step is to create a research study collecting valuable data from students. They partnered with Dr Stephen O’Connor, Associate Director for the University of Louisville Depression Centre, who helped them designing the study.

The study will include 10 students focus groups and five parents focus groups. The idea is also to collect interviews from stakeholders such as teachers, counsellors, principals, etc.

StAMINA held a first youth summit in March 2018 targeting students from 8th graders to undergraduate in college. The funds were received from the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children. “We had Mental Health bingo,” said Allison. “Everyone made their own cards with ways to improve their own mental health as well as ways they can advocate for others.”

“We have a ton of ideas, but we have to make sure our action is informed by research," she said. “What we do will depend on our findings,” but some of their potential ideas are a social media campaign to decrease stigma and a campaign for universal mental health screening beginning at age 12. “There’s a lack of resources. What we do have is for active crises; there’s less for prevention.”

“We are entirely student driven, with the goal to improve mental health from the bottom up, using our own voices and elevating students voices. There’s so much distance between what adults think are the issues and what students know, the reality of our lives,” Allison said.

Adapted from: https://eu.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2018/08/24/dupont-ma...
More information: http://www.staminaky.com/vision-team/

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About the author

Allison Tu born in 2002, from the USA, created the Student Alliance for Mental Health Innovation and Action (StAMINA) in 2016 to help her friends and peers struggling with mental health. The main purpose of the alliance is to raise awareness among students and encourage advocates for mental health.

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