This workshop aims to address the pressing mental health challenges faced by youth in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, using insights from the Centers for Disease Control Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey (ABES) 2022. The data reveals alarming rates of poor mental health, persistent sadness, and experiences of racism among high school students. Notably, students facing racism were less likely to benefit from the protective effects of school connectedness. To mitigate these issues, the workshop proposes a comprehensive approach, exploring the Youth Empowerment Circle Series, an eight-week program designed to foster a safe and supportive environment that psychologists and licensed mental health professionals can utilize. The program covers essential topics identified by youth, such as self-identity, relationships, and socialization. The workshop seeks to empower participants to effectively help youth navigate their psychosocial challenges by addressing these concerns.
1. Describe the significant mental health challenges faced by youth post-COVID-19, as highlighted by the ABES data.
2. Examine the impact of racism on mental health and the diminished protective effects of school connectedness for those facing racial adversity.
3. Outline the Youth Empowerment Circle Series and its potential to create a supportive environment, gaining insights into the program’s structure and relevance to the identified challenges.