As the community celebrates Mental Health Awareness in May, SRSLY Chelsea is stepping up its focus on providing relevant training, resources and events. However, their commitment extends beyond this particular month.
At its core, SRSLY Chelsea aims to unite the community by supporting youth mental health and preventing substance abuse among youth through proactive measures, education and advocacy.
The question is, “Where do you go to college?” “It may seem innocuous to some, but it makes a big connection with mental health,” says Kate Yocum, director of the SRSL Chelsea. She shared, “Students often share their concerns with me about that question. When they don’t have an answer, they feel a sense of failure. To me, that immediately qualifies this topic as a mental health priority for our society.
Graduation season can create mixed feelings among students. While some enjoy this time, looking forward to the future, others face uncertainty, and for some, this time is characterized by fear. Because they are mainly concerned with their graduate plans, especially “Where are you going to go to college?” Not getting the right answer often leads to feelings of isolation, shame, and inappropriate failure.
SRSLY is teaming up with Chelsea High School to address this concern. While information about four-year colleges is readily available, it’s important to consider students who don’t see this as their chosen path. What options are there for them? Is it possible to find a secure job that will help them financially as they move into adulthood? What about professions and what does the term “trades” include?
“After several students approached me with these types of concerns, we took an unusual fork in the road to support them,” Yocum said.
Celebrated in May, Mental Health Awareness Month shines a light on mental health issues and promotes awareness and understanding. SRSLY is taking advantage of heightened public attention to create a new approach to address concerns about students’ future career paths.
The SRSLY team asked students about their initial level of certainty when considering the businesses. They then collaborated with the CHS office to compile answers to these frequently asked questions into a tangible document that any student can access directly from the school’s website. This packet provides information about various business fields, possible salaries, relevant schools, application recommendations and more.
Click over here Or scan the QR code below to view the package.
“We’re looking to repeat the phrase ‘I’m exploring my options’ to these teenagers, with the ultimate goal of building self-esteem, a sense of accomplishment, and the confidence to do so. Yocum said. “Graduation from high school is a big deal, and it’s worth celebrating without any stipulations about what happens next.”
SRSLY Chelsea is making great strides through ongoing initiatives in the community. Their programs aim to create a supportive environment for young people, promote mental health awareness and take proactive measures against substance abuse. Their partnership with local schools has been vital in their commitment to the wellbeing of young people in Chelsea.
To give students more information about their future choices, the CHS Counseling Office arranged for representatives from Washtenaw Community College to talk about available programs, application processes and salaries. The students had the opportunity to visit UA-190 and Local 252 unions.
“Trade schools and internship programs are great opportunities for students after high school,” said Tim Mann, guidance counselor at Chelsea High School. “Most programs are high-demand, have low tuition and make students self-sufficient. – Enough.”
“In the past, there didn’t seem to be enough information on how to navigate streets like Merchants,” said Nicolette Rivers, a senior at Chelsea High School. “As a community and locally in Chelsea, it’s ingrained in us that college is the only option, and if that wasn’t for me I wouldn’t know where to start. This new resource, developed by Searsley students and our advisory team, is a valuable way to make students feel comfortable and informed about their futures.
Going forward, the goal is to hold accessible question-and-answer sessions for all juniors and seniors who want to explore their options for four-year colleges, careers, and different paths.
“We know that a sense of purpose and belief in one’s identity is critical to positive mental health outcomes,” Yocum said. “We believe that mental health resources are not limited to a specific clinical practice. This is their future. This season of decision feels the biggest to them right now. They deserve our support and attention.
For more information about mental health and SRSLY initiatives, visit srsly.org or find us on Facebook @srslychelsea. To contribute to their cause, please visit https://giving.stjoeshealth.org/srsly.