Addressing The Mental Health Crisis Among Girls And Exploring School Strategies

Mental Health Crisis Among Girls

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paints a concerning picture of the mental health crisis among girls in the United States.

In 2021, nearly 60% of these young women reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, while nearly 20% had experienced sexual violence, and a quarter had made plans for suicide.

As clinicians, educators, and policymakers nationwide race to find solutions, a Chicago-based program is emerging as a potential model to help girls, especially those of color, cope with the trauma and distress they often face.

Youth Guidance, an education nonprofit, introduced the Working on Womanhood program (WOW) in 11 Chicago public high schools in 2011. This school-based initiative, rooted in counseling and mentoring, was conceived by Black and Latina women who recognized a significant gap in mental health support for girls within their community.

Over the past decade, Ngozi Harris, WOW’s director of program and staff development, has worked closely with hundreds of girls who have endured unimaginable hardships, including witnessing the loss of loved ones, surviving sexual assault, or grappling with hunger and homelessness.

Extensive research underscores the link between childhood trauma of this magnitude and later mental health challenges, such as depression, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. However, Harris points out that mental health resources are often disproportionately directed towards boys, as their symptoms tend to be more overt.

The Urgent Need for Gender-Sensitive Mental Health Support To Handle Mental Health Crisis Among Girls

The CDC’s recent findings highlight the urgent need for gender-sensitive mental health support, especially among adolescent girls who are navigating the complex challenges of adolescence. Many of these young women carry the weight of trauma, yet their suffering often goes unnoticed or unaddressed.

The WOW Program: A Response to the Crisis

The Working on Womanhood program seeks to fill this crucial gap by providing a safe and nurturing space for girls to address their trauma and develop vital coping skills. WOW’s approach is grounded in the belief that young women can thrive when they are heard, understood, and supported.

Over the course of a decade, WOW has made a profound impact on the lives of countless girls in Chicago. Through a combination of individual and group therapy, mentorship, and skill-building workshops, participants have found a renewed sense of hope and resilience.

By addressing the root causes of their distress, girls in the program gain the tools to break free from the cycle of trauma and mental health challenges.

One of the program’s core strengths lies in challenging gender stereotypes that often hinder girls from seeking help.

While boys’ mental health struggles may manifest more conspicuously, girls frequently internalize their pain, leading to a different set of challenges. WOW creates a safe space for girls to express themselves, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

As the mental health crisis among girls continues to escalate, the Working on Womanhood program in Chicago offers a ray of hope. Its success in addressing the unique needs of girls, particularly girls of color, serves as a model that could be replicated throughout the United States.

By acknowledging and validating the experiences of young women, providing them with a platform to heal and grow, and challenging societal norms, WOW exemplifies the kind of comprehensive, gender-sensitive mental health support that is urgently needed.

In a time of growing concern about the mental health of high school girls across the nation, the Working on Womanhood program stands as a testament to the power of community-driven, gender-sensitive mental health support.

As this crisis continues to unfold, programs like WOW offer a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the transformative potential of understanding, compassion, and comprehensive care for the girls who need it most.

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Community Aims to Eradicate Mental Health Stigma Through Suicide Prevention Efforts

Suicide prevention efforts

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there has been a 2.6% increase in suicide rates between 2021 and 2022, resulting in a tragic suicide death occurring approximately every 11 minutes. Addressing this complex and pressing public health issue is a formidable task, but a group of dedicated local volunteers has made it their mission to promote mental well-being through suicide prevention efforts. 

Suicide rates have been on the rise since the turn of the millennium, a concerning trend that has been exacerbated by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suicide Prevention Efforts To Raise

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Illinois Wesleyan University Incorporates Mental Health Escape Rooms into Nursing Curriculum

Mental health escape rooms

Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) is taking an innovative approach to nursing education by incorporating mental health escape rooms into its curriculum. Nursing students Angel Lee, Davion Lemon, and Jovan Perez recently found themselves facing this unique challenge during a mandatory assignment, unsure of what to expect.

These junior students, enrolled in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at IWU, were informed that the escape room exercise would contribute to their clinical hours, but beyond that, they were provided with few details.

Little did they know that this would be no ordinary escape room experience; it was a mental health escape room designed to test their knowledge and ski

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In the wake of a post-pandemic surge in mental health issues among students, the state of New Jersey has initiated groundbreaking new mental health services aimed at providing vital support for those grappling with anxiety, depression, and related concerns.

Wayne Township Public Schools are actively engaging with this initiative, known as NJ4S, which has been aptly described as a “wrap-around program” due to its comprehensive approach.

Notably, NJ4S extends its support not only to students but also to parents and educators, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of mental health challenges within educational

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Escalating Mental Health Concerns Among Wisconsin Teenage Girls Demand Urgent Attention

Mental Health Concerns

The well-being of Wisconsin’s teenage girls is under a growing shadow of mental health concerns, as revealed by concerning data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Officials from the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health have sounded the alarm, deeming the statistics deeply troubling.

The data paints a stark picture: more than half of high school-aged girls in the state report suffering from anxiety, while a staggering 50% confess to feeling sad or hopeless every single day. Equally distressing, over a quarter of these young girls admit to self-harm.

Perhaps the most alarming statistic is that 25% of Wisconsin’s teenage girls have contemplated suicide, with 20% of them having formulated a concrete plan. Shockingly, more than half of those who de

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Social withdrawal, fatigue, feelings of helplessness, and depression are just a few of the common manifestations of this condition. In the words of therapist Andrea Evgeniou, “Navigating the duality of embracing the season’s beauty while also grappling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be tricky and confusing.”

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During a recent appearance at the Music and Health Summit held in Los Angeles on September 19, Selena Gomez once again took the opportunity to shed light on her mental health journey. She spoke passionately about how the bedroom, often considered a place of comfort and rest, can serve as a trigger for her.


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Central Alabama VA Elevates Mental Health Treatment Program, Signifying A Milestone In Holistic Care

Mental Health Treatment Program

In 2023, the Central Alabama VA, in collaboration with the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, embarked on an extensive journey to enhance its Mental Health Treatment Program.

This revitalization of a crucial service represents a significant milestone in the organization’s ongoing commitment to providing comprehensive care to our honored Veterans.

The revamped program introduces a range of enhancements designed to deliver superior care, heightened security, and increased support to the brave individuals who have selflessly served our nation.