Self-advocacy is a powerful tool, especially as we navigate a world with systems that are not structured to serve us. To me, as an immigrant, queer Latina, it is important to understand all of the factors that have played into my mental well-being. Growing up in a Hispanic household where mental health was not talked about nor prioritized, it was tough for me to know what resources were available to serve me. I didn’t know of anyone that I could reach out to understand the issues I was facing. So, my answer was slacktivism. I had no direction, only my drive to be part of the mental health advocacy world. But I didn’t know where to turn. Now, as an Active Minds staff member and mental health advocate, I’m helping other members of Gen Z learn that “Your Voice Is Your Power” — and there is support out there.
When I think back to myself as a teenager with no expertise or knowledge of self-advocacy, I know that a resource hub within a click away would have helped and informed my advocacy much earlier. It wasn’t until college that I started to own my story and voice to help me obtain the resources I needed but felt they were hidden from me. That is why I am so excited about our new program, Your Voice Is Your Power.
Your Voice Is Your Power is a resource hub being developed by Active Minds staff and youth advocates for the everyday person like you and me. This hub will contain various tools to connect and support youth, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ high school students, and help champion their advocacy journeys. Your Voice is Your Power will offer workshop sessions where students can learn about topics like retention and recruitment for school clubs, how to build positive partnerships with school administration, and understanding the impacts of unhealthy relationships. We will have also have toolkits available on topics like the connection between perfectionism and mental health and how people can best manage it. Through multimedia resources such as short videos, webinars, toolkits, and blogs, Active Minds wants high school students to empower themselves by utilizing these materials to prioritize their well-being.
Our Your Voice Is Your Power team will be hosting a virtual workshop on coping during the holidays on Nov. 16, 2023. We understand that being at home, surrounded by family members and friends, brings a lot of stress and pressure. Having good grades, maintaining an active social life, and participating in extracurricular activities are a heavy load. All of these factors can add to an already busy time of the year. That is why it is important for youth and young adults to take care of and protect their mental health. In this workshop, students will learn about different holiday stressors, how to manage them, as well as create strategies to get the best out of the holiday season. We hope to see you there!