3 Innovative Programs Helping Teens With Mental Health Issues

Being a teenager has always been hard, but in this day and age the challenges that teens face have heightened—from navigating social media to high stakes standardized testing. A number of educational institutions, nonprofit and governmental organizations are developing innovative programs and resource centers dedicated to helping teens protect their emotional and mental health.

Read on for highlights of several new emotional and mental health programs designed to help today’s youth.


These New Orleans schools are treating trauma-stricken students with understanding, not discipline

(Source: NPR)
  • Five New Orleans charter schools are part of a new collective committed to acknowledging the severe impact trauma can have on students’ mental health and are adapting their discipline rules to be more trauma-informed. The program aims to account for the social, emotional and behavioral needs of all students, and their lives outside of school
  • Students in New Orleans face high rates of exposure to trauma, but school discipline policies, like many others across the U.S., rarely account for that
  • The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies found that kids in New Orleans screen positive for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at more than three times the national rate


In the face of rising mental-health issues among students, colleges are making a greater effort to understand students’ mental health needs and offer effective therapies

(Source: New York Times)
  • The number of college students who say they are facing mental- and emotional-health troubles has been steadily growing
  • According to the U.C.L.A. Higher Education Research Institute annual freshman survey, a record high of 11.9 percent of the students in the 2016 incoming class reported “frequently” feeling depressed in the past year, and 13.9 percent said “there was a very good chance they would seek personal counseling in college”
  • Colleges and universities are increasingly focused on trying to understand what interventions work best for students. Four higher education institutions are part of a five-year $3.4 million project, which follows the class of 2018 from freshman through senior year
  • Each institution will offer a number of mental health interventions, including grief groups with outside counselors, an online therapy assistance program, and calming exercises


Trauma-centered yoga for incarcerated teenage girls gains popularity in US juvenile centers

(Source: NPR)
  • A new report from the Center on Poverty and Inequality says there is mounting evidence that yoga can benefit the mental and physical health of young women who’ve been through trauma
  • Statistics show that girls experience different forms of childhood trauma with an impact that builds over time
  • Incarcerated young women who did yoga reported better self-esteem and stress management skills in skills that they could use in two Georgetown pilot studies

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