“Young people don’t need to be our next crisis—but they do need us to do better.”
One year ago, a small but mighty group of ordinary people came together to form We Fight Northern Michigan – a community with one agenda: leverage the Surgeon General’s Advisory to better protect the mental health of our young people.
And Christmas came early to our Grand Traverse kids last week with ARPA funding to several youth mental health projects thanks to County Commissioners:
- $978,479 for Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, child abuse trauma therapy services.
- $512,500 for National Alliance on Mental Illness Grand Traverse chapter, additional staff to provide no-cost mental health programs and support groups to the community
- $325,000 for Michael’s Place: Bridging the Gaps for Grieving Families, Schools, and Communities
- $150,000 for Northwest Michigan Health Services, child and adolescent health center at TC West Middle School to provide medical services and mental health counseling to students
- $108,700 for Generations Ahead, expand services for hard-to-reach teen parents and increase access to mental health counseling
- $10,000 for Traverse Area Public Schools, peer-to-peer programming for youth mental health
So much to celebrate for sure, but let’s not pat ourselves on the back for too long.
There’s still a lot of work to be done.
What can you do to help protect our kids’ mental health in 2023?
- Pay attention to, support, and love the young people in your life
- Get trained – ASIST or safeTalk or QPR or Mental Health First Aid
- Read the Surgeon General’s Advisory and pick one recommendation to start doing on Jan 1✎ EditSign
- Attend Elevate Northern Michigan Summits at NMC
- Become a big brother or big sister
- Become a coach
- Help out at recess
- Join the We Fight community to connect with other ordinary people who care
Pick something today and make a promise to do better.
Say that promise out loud, so you’re on the hook.
And then be focused and consistent in 2023 to see that promise through.
We all have a role to play.
The kids need you.
I need you.
We need you.
Let’s get to work, ordinary people.