May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The issue of mental health is everyone’s concern and its impact to the American workforce is significant. The link to Workplace Resources for Mental Health is posted to help breakdown stereotypes and stigma that continues to exist. Also, listed below are three narratives describing how ETA grantees are collaborating with local systems in three states to support the youth population in this realm.

Connecticut-  In Connecticut, the DEI Project in collaboration with YouthWorks staff in Southwest region are engaging in monthly meetings with the “Vocational Triage Team” comprised of individuals from different social services agencies. They meet regularly to identify available resources inclusive of addressing mental health issues. The group support each other in a technical assistance forum by sharing solutions to challenges that surface.

Texas- In Texas, a Motivation, Education, & Training Inc. (MET) is creating a Youth Emotional Support (YES) Unit, a retrofitted van that will travel throughout the border regions of Texas to distribute resources to support wellbeing, mental health, education, and training and career services to youth. MET hopes this effort will increase awareness among youth about depression, anxiety, and suicide. The project will also engage youth in awareness building activities by linking the project to the MET Youth Build and the NFJP Youth programs, which requires participating youth aged 16-24 years to engage in community service projects.

Minnesota– In Minnesota, the DEI project has expanded its partnership with the Cornerstone Day Treatment Program for at-risk youth with disabilities. The school serves youth with emotional behavioral disorders. Students are recommended for the program by their IEP team with approval from their district’s administration. The program has an emphasis on reintegrating the students into mainstream settings including their home school district and work sites. Topics addressed include self-awareness, conflict resolution, life skills, setting goals, and decision-making.