Our world has changed significantly in the last four years. Young people faced significant challenges, a long-lasting pandemic that asked of them physical isolation, loneliness, economic downturns, and de-globalization. Young people also used every single platform and space possible to passionately advocate for a better world for themselves and their communities. Through this, more and more people realize prioritizing mental health is a key to navigating global issues, leaning into hope and resilience, and building solutions that work for our most vulnerable populations. Mental Health Awareness Month has become an essential time to raise awareness, share accessible resources, and eliminate stigma and encourage people to reach out to support themselves and each other.
The theme for 2023’s Mental Health Awareness Month is "Hope and Resilience: Mental Health for All." This theme highlights how eager young people are to build a kinder and braver world, and how mental health affects us all no matter our backgrounds or experiences.
Young people are a force of change, and we benefit from following their leadership as they demand safer, affirming, validating, and resource-rich spaces within which they can thrive. Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, understands deeply the importance of working with and for young people through programs including the storytelling platform Channel Kindness, its Advisory Board made up of a global group of young leaders age 15-24, and its free peer support online mental health course, the Be There Certificate.
Created by Jack.org in partnership with Born This Way Foundation, the Be There Certificate is a free, self-paced learning experience designed to increase mental health literacy and provide the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to safely support a young person and anyone who may be struggling with their mental health. Young people helped create and inform the program, and it’s available in English, French, and Spanish. Using Be There’s 5 Golden Rules to support others (and a sixth golden rule to support self), the Be There Certificate provides a simple, actionable framework on how to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health, your role in supporting that person, and how to connect them to the help they deserve.
Using accessible resources like the Be There Certificate helps us show up with more compassion toward ourselves and for our communities. If we’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that we need each other.
Starting in 2018, Born This Way Foundation has given more than $500,000 to teachers seeking mental health resources through DonorsChoose. In total, they’ve helped fund 2,300 requests for resources for public educators across the country, bringing us closer to a nation where teachers have all the tools they need to support their students’ needs.
Are you a teacher in need of resources to support your students’ mental health? Request what you need today.
Are you a donor looking to get mental health resources into classrooms? Check out these requests from teachers.