This summer, Leaders for an Equitable Tomorrow (LET) participants took action. After researching, planning, and reflecting, these 10 teen interns are developing an online resource for them and their peers.
The Middlesex 4 Mental Health site launched earlier this month. (And you can follow the group on Instagram @middlesex4mentalhealth!) The goal of the site is to provide a platform for resources, exercises, and discussion regarding mental health. The LET program is particularly concerned with how to support the mental health of minoritized groups, who are often disproportionately impacted.
They hope that this site will be an accessible option for all young people, locally and beyond, to learn and take steps to improve and understand their mental health. The teens also plan to host in-person discussions on topics related to mental health during the school year, and these activities and other pertinent local events will be highlighted on the Middlesex 4 Mental Health site.
“It was great to see how the student interns from Woburn and Winchester came together around the mental health topic,” observed SCI President David Crowley. “They had some powerful conversations, and were able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time.”
The meetings over the summer included covering different topics. At one meeting held at the Woburn Senior Center in late July, we were joined by 3 local organizations to share their stories. NAGLY, the NAN project, and Kick It for a Cause spent the afternoon talking with the students about their organizations. An informative panel began the program, followed by smaller group conversations with each organization.
SCI joined with another local nonprofit organization, the Network for Social Justice (NFSJ), to develop and implement the LET program. The LET program began in the summer of 2021, with participating teens exploring the intersection of racism and mental health through a series of workshops and needs assessment gathering processes. A core group of the initial LET participants met during the spring of 2022 and established the development of this platform as the LET project for summer of 2022.
The initial funding for the LET program came through CHNA 15 DoN funds from Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. Cummings Properties provides major funding for SCI & NFSJ.