New site features interactive database of mental and behavioral health resources, peer video messaging, and toolkits in eight different languages to help youth ages 12-21
√ The JT1 Discussion Guide Program for Students relaunched alongside the new website to help bring mental health conversations into the classroom
Just Tell One – a public awareness initiative of Mental Health Advocates (MHA) of WNY – has launched its new website to coincide with May’s recognition as Mental Health Awareness Month. The refreshed site provides an interactive database of mental and behavioral health resources across Western New York’s eight counties. Downloadable toolkits in eight different languages are available to help youth struggling with a mental health or addiction issue get tips on beginning the conversation with a trusted adult. The site also introduces a new series of peer-to-peer videos.
In tandem, Just Tell One has also relaunched it’s JT1 Discussion Guide Program for Students to bring the conversation of mental health into the classroom.
“The collective trauma of the last two years has only worsened an existing mental and behavioral health crisis, creating a new level of anxiety and uncertainty – especially among young people,” MHA Executive Director Melinda DuBois said. “The updated Just Tell One website and JT1 Discussion Guide Program for Students are examples of how, as an agency, MHA is making it a priority to expand existing services to reach more youth primarily where they spend their time – in schools and online.”
Toolkits for depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and suicidal thoughts can be downloaded on any web-enabled device so individuals can learn more. They are available in Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, English, Karen, Nepalese, Somali and Spanish to help ensure communities across all cultures are supported. Long-from videos from local mental health and substance abuse professionals, along with youth peer videos, are integrated throughout the site. Earning more than 5 million views, these videos highlight the importance of finding a trusted person to talk to. There is also a section on how to give help for those who may be called upon to be that trusted person. Select videos can be viewed and used for news stories here.
“Just Tell One has always been about peers talking to peers, sharing their experiences and struggles, and how important it is to find someone to talk to," Just Tell One Director Carol Doggett said. "Validating young people's concerns and experiences, and offering advice through positive messaging, is at the heart of our efforts by reaching youth across multiple digital platforms."
The JT1 Discussion Guide Program for Students is a six-class course that meets the criteria of the New York State Mental Health Education Law. Geared for middle school and high school students, it brings the mental health conversation into the classroom or after-school activity. Using a series of progressive topics to facilitate small group discussions, the program helps students recognize behavioral and mental health challenges and how to connect with a trusted person for support – or be that trusted person for someone else.
A press release said, “The initial campaign, JustTellOne.org, launched in 2016 with the mission to give Western New York youth and young adults the tools and confidence to start the conversation with a trusted person about their mental or behavioral health issues. The initiative provides resources to at-risk individuals who may suffer from depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. By recognizing the power of a conversation, young people can reach out for help as early as possible, increasing the use of intervention services – and decreasing the likelihood of an issue turning into a life-altering crisis.”
To learn more about Just Tell One’s mission, becoming a trusted person or searching for support services across Western New York, visit JustTellOne.org. Individuals can follow Just Tell One’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to remain current on the campaign.
Just Tell One was developed with support from the Prevention Council of Erie County and organizations representing Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.