To reduce stigma associated with mental health conditions and increase social emotional learning and suicide prevention so that children, youth and young adults ages 5-24 seek help when experiencing mental or behavioral health issues.
To achieve our goal, we are focusing on three objectives:
- Build capacity to improve youth mental health in Pima, Pinal, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.
- Key to the long-term success of Help & Hope for Youth is building a strong collaboration of organizations and individuals —the Help & Hope for YOUth Alliance-- who understand the importance of stigma elimination and join in advocacy and educational efforts. The Alliance is composed of mental health organizations and providers, school districts and associations, faith, business and community leaders. Activities are directed toward:
1) Getting information out to the community on stigma (in both English and Spanish)
2) Promoting help seeking
3) Ensuring information on resources is widespread and easily available
4) Developing long-term funding and in-kind support to sustain efforts
- Widely disseminate education and training on stigma reduction and information on mental health resources in four counties.
- Ending the Silence (ETS), NAMI’s effective stigma reduction program, is being expanded to more middle and high schools throughout Southern Arizona, both directly by NAMI SA staff and volunteers and through training local coordinators and presenters. Text, Talk, Act, a text-messaging platform to guide conversations about mental health, and Not Broken, an Arizona Public Media documentary on youth mental illness, are available to schools and youth-serving organizations now. Other stigma reduction strategies, programs and curricula will be reviewed and made available.
- Advocate for State-wide systemic change
- The collective leadership of the Help & Hope for YOUth Alliance will enable us to advocate for policy changes in Arizona that serve to reduce stigma and encourage help seeking behavior. Systemic change will involve bringing together major providers of youth mental/behavioral health services, including primary care providers in integrated healthcare settings, and youth, to conduct a dialogue that leads to early intervention and improved access to appropriate mental /behavioral health services.