Let’s Talk! Alameda: Mental Health Matters began as an initiative of the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and their Families (ACCYF) in 2018. ACCYF promotes positive child and youth development through building innovative community partnership, sharing information, and maximizing resources. Members of ACCYF include representatives from Alameda County, the City of Alameda, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), and community organizations with programs for children and youth.
Let’s Talk! Alameda engages with family members, caregivers, and other trusted adults involved in the lives of our Island’s youth to identify early signs and support youth mental health needs. The campaign encourages adults across the Island to educate themselves on identifying youth struggles with emotional well-being, provides a guide to starting these sensitive conversations, and offers ways to support and advocate for improving youth mental health and well-being.
During the 2017-18 school year, the AUSD conducted a comprehensive behavioral health needs assessment. In our schools, nearly 50% of high school students identified bullying as an issue and more than 80% of students reported feeling stressed. Unfortunately, not every student feels comfortable talking to an adult about these - and other - issues that can have harmful effects on their mental health.
As a result of these striking numbers, Alameda’s community and civic leaders have been compelled to support mental health services in Alameda. Following a presentation by AUSD at an Alameda City Council meeting, the council dedicated $100,000 to support expanding mental health services in our schools.
Following a planning retreat in September 2018 and a presentation from AUSD on the behavioral health needs assessment in early 2019, ACCYF members prioritized addressing youth mental health needs. In the spring of 2019, ACCYF moved forward on creating a Steering Committee to develop an island-wide messaging campaign, which became Let’s Talk! Alameda: Mental Health Matters.
Learn more on how you can SEE the signs, TALK about mental health, and SUPPORT youth mental health and well-being by visiting our Take Action page.