TGR Foundation, Providence share tips to prioritize mental health
TGR Foundation and Providence are working together to support students and families during Mental Health Month and beyond through their partnership, Empowered Health, focused on health education, health equity and workforce development.
In the United States, 70% of students seek mental health resources through schools and educational institutions, according to the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and the National Center for Education. TGR Foundation is committed to empowering students, educators and families to thrive in the classroom and beyond. Through its partnership with Providence, it has greater access to professionals and resources to help its community navigate health and wellness.
In celebration of Mental Health Month, here are three ways for people of all ages to prioritize their mental health.
1. Engage in open and honest conversations with people you trust.
Having conversations with confidants improves community understanding, acceptance and support of mental health and wellness. To build on this practice in Orange County, Providence and its Promise to Talk initiative launched Green Bench OC, a movement which rallies organizations to paint benches lime green, the international color for mental health awareness. The green benches are a visual reminder and invitation for students and families to have honest conversations about their mental health.
TGR Foundation recently unveiled the 17th green bench of the movement at the Empowered Health Wellness Fair on Saturday, May 6.
In addition to the unveiling, TGR Foundation, Providence and other community organizations provided students and families with resources, workshops and information to navigate and prioritize their mental health, offered in English and Spanish.
“After today’s workshops, I want to talk to my parents more about myself,” said Christopher, TGR Learning Lab student. “I feel like I should be more open about how I feel and what I do.”
2. Know the signs of mental illness.
Half of all mental illnesses show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarter begin before age 24 according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Knowing the signs can allow you to help those in your community get the help they need and offer support. Learn more about signs of mental illness beyond those listed below at promisetotalk.org/get-help.
- Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
- Feelings of extreme highs and lows
- Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
- Social withdrawal
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
The Empowered Health Wellness Fair helped parents gain a greater understanding of mental health and ways to support their students.
“The presentation from [Seeing through] the Third Eye was really good because there was a lot of conversation between parents,” said Edith Moreno, parent of a TGR Learning Lab student. “There are a lot of issues we don’t know how to deal with, and I’m happy to be here because I’m learning.”
3. Seek support.
No matter the stage or severity of mental health challenges or illnesses, there are several resources and services to help people of all ages overcome them. Self-care, therapy and medication are all mental health treatment options that have led to full recovery for people experiencing mental illness.
Beyond the wellness fair and Mental Health Month, TGR Foundation and Providence will continue to make resources and opportunities available for students and families in a safe and understanding environment.
Visit TGRFoundation.org/partnership to join TGR Foundation in its mission to empower youth through education. For mental health resources visit GreenBenchOC.org.