Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Together Youth Council members advocate in Albany for mental health policies and resources

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by Pelham Together. The Pelham Examiner publishes press releases in the form received as a service to the community.

Members of our Pelham Together Youth Council traveled to Albany for Mental Health Matters Day hosted by Mental Health Association of New York State (MHANYS) to advocate for resources and policy related to youth mental health. They heard from different state leaders and advocates from other schools and spoke individually with their elected officials, Senator Nathalia Fernandez and Assembly Member Amy Paulin. Some of the legislative priorities discussed were:

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline:  This hotline began in 2022 and is currently facing funding challenges. Students discussed the need for these services to truly be available 24/7/365, which requires a funding level commensurate with 911, and they shared personal experiences with being put on extended hold or told to call back due to insufficient coverage.

Teen Mental Health First Aid and Accompanying Teacher Training: Governor Hochul has invested in a program called Teen Mental Health First Aid which builds mental health literacy among 10-12th grade students using a peer-to-peer model. Our students applauded that investment, as well as the requirement that all schools K-12 include mental health literacy as part of the health curriculum. They encouraged lawmakers to support efforts to require mental health training for all school personnel in order to promote a comprehensive culture of wellness in every school.

Wellness In Pelham: In addition to the efforts currently underway in our schools, our students shared that they wished for an overall Wellness Plan in our high school that they would like to help shape. Some specifics included making existing services more obvious and accessible, elevating all those who play a role in supporting mental health in the school and the community so kids know who they can turn to and how to make it easier to take that first step to ask for help; setting up more connections between older and younger youth as a way to encourage supportive relationships across ages and schools; and other ideas aimed at reducing the stigma of asking for help with their mental health.

Not only was the sun shining that day in Albany, but so were these young leaders! There is so much hope for our future when we let youth speak and advocate for change! Pelham is a lucky community to have youth as committed as these young people to the wellness of their peers.


About Pelham Together

Pelham Together is a not-for-profit organization located in Pelham, NY.  Our mission is to support the physical, social, and mental wellbeing of all youth by creating as many opportunities as possible to build resilience and a sense of connectedness and belonging  as part of the community.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Pelham Examiner intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Commenters must provide their FIRST NAME and their LAST NAME. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Pelham Examiner does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. We will check to see if it works and may also request a street address if an email looks to be spam.
All Pelham Examiner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *