A Sound Mind: Youth Prevention Services

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

While much of the talk regarding the topics of Mental Health Disorders revolves around Treatment, Prevention also plays an important role in combating the crisis affecting communities nationwide. In our continuing series, A Sound Mind, Brian Bouchard takes a look at one service aiming to give kids the tools they need to succeed.

“Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp where for 4 days kids come and stay on the campus of a college and we do team building activities, teach some leadership skills, basically give them the necessary materials for them to succeed in life.”

Alyssa Tilley is the District Youth Coordinator for AMHC, who runs the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp as part of their Prevention Services.

“The main goal of my position in my eyes is to show the kids that they have a voice and how to use it respectfully so that they’re heard, because a lot of the time, the students we work with they think that they have to fit into this mold that everybody has for them when in real life we just want them to be themselves and to change the world in the way that they think it needs to be changed.”

Tilley says one of the biggest focuses of her work is instilling the concept of mutual respect in the youth.

“Immediately as a student we expect to be respected because we listened to the rules or whatever, but there are different levels of respect and in order for our voice to be heard in a way that changes something we have to be able to show respect to the people we are talking to because that’s most important because you show mutual respect to people and open communication and those are the skills we teach so students can succeed”

Tilley went on to talk about some of the things teens struggle with, including social media.

“One of our focuses at camp is often cyberbullying, because it is a big problem. Although technology has done some amazing things for the world, its also caused some major issues. Like, its so much easier to say something we wouldn’t say to somebodies face when were hiding through a screen.”

Tilley also had this message for teens who may be dealing with issues regarding mental health and don’t know where to turn.

“I’d tell them its okay to ask for help, because I feel like were stuck in a society right now where we think we have to handle things on our own, and especially as a teenager when your in school its seen as a weakness when your struggling, like other kids may target you. But its okay to ask for help and everybody at some point is going to need help and mental health isn’t something you should have to handle on your own and if you cant the help at home, reach out to someone else you trust because its so important to have a support system behind you, it’s the only way you can get through it.”

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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