Youth Aware of Mental Health: Expanding Evidence Based Mental Health Resources in Schools

September 11th, 2023 | Posted By: Lauren Klein | Posted in News

The Rales Center has worked to develop and expand components of its mental health program focusing on preventive mental health. Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) is an evidence-based 5-session school-based program for students ages 13-17 in which they learn about and discuss mental health. YAM has been shown to be effective at reducing suicide attempts, severe suicidal ideation, and new cases of depression. The program aims to increase coping skills and improve peer-to-peer relations. Even if a young person is doing well in the present moment, what they learn in YAM may be useful at a later time or for supporting a friend in need. In school year 2022-23, in partnership with Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty Drs. Holly Wilcox and Rales Wellness Programs Faculty Lead Beth Marshall, the RHC Director of Wellness Programs implemented YAM at KIPP Ujima Village Academy and Roland Park Middle School. They hope to expand the program to serve more schools in the coming school year.