Teen Mental Health Collaborative Gathers for In-Person Celebration
The JHF Adolescent Behavioral Health Team asked grantees to reflect on and summarize their work as part of the Collaborative, which was translated to visual posters displayed around the Friendship Circle space. Friendship Circle Director Rivkee Rudolph and Carol Frazer led attendees in a discussion about lessons learned and challenges the organizations experienced over the past 20 months of the pandemic.
Center of Life Family and Community Engagement Coordinator Kiyomi Knox, MSW, then led attendees in an activity from A Window Between Worlds, an organization that works to connect creativity and mental wellness. Through the Garden of New Beginnings activity, participants were invited to plant flower bulbs that symbolize future growth. This activity and the discussion that followed helped attendees visualize how lessons from this past year will influence work for supporting teen mental wellness going forward.
Center of Life Director of Development Patrick Ohrman and Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA President & CEO Lisa M. Palmieri, PhD, led a design thinking exercise aimed at identifying opportunities for collaborative partners to work together to promote community-based organization and health system collaborations, leverage the network for shared advocacy and training, and plan for joint youth programs.
Going forward, the Collaborative plans to meet quarterly and form smaller workgroups based on specific areas of interest. Some of these include educating and empowering teens as mental health ambassadors, fostering connections with schools and health systems, organizing community-wide events, and connecting with policy makers.