With support from Well Being Trust, Mental Health America’s new paper, Youth and Young Adult Peer Support: Expanding Community-Driven Mental Health Resources, is a call to invest in a full continuum of youth peer support to address the growing youth mental health crisis.
The report explores why our current approaches are insufficient and the growing research and programs that support the ability of young people to support other youth. Whether they are learning how to listen to their peers, starting mental health clubs, or working in community mental health, the paper offers example programs and recommendations for barriers and key considerations in advancing and expanding youth peer support.
To change culture and resources to promote youth mental health, the report recommends that decision-makers partner with youth to:
- Invest in training to help ensure all young people have skills to promote mental health and support their peers,
- Integrate mental health promotion and peer support programs wherever young people spend their time, and
- Embed youth peer support specialists into all youth-serving systems.