Each year, back-to-school brings a mix of excitement and anxiety for children and families. This year, due to the pandemic, the epidemic of gun violence, and other factors, students are returning to school as we face a youth mental health crisis that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has called “the defining public health issue of our time.” LGBTQIA+ youth, racial and ethnic minorities, those traumatized by violence, youth with disabilities, and those in underserved communities are at particular risk.
That’s why, here at Futures Without Violence, we’re reaching out to help. Our Hanging Out or Hooking Up safety card urges teens and young adults to reflect on how they are treated by the people they date, and shows how to support friends experiencing relationship abuse.
For those who work with youth, we’ve created:
- A webinar with strategies to help school-based health providers discuss relationship abuse and trafficking with adolescents, and lessons learned from this work.
- Our Changing Minds NOW website, with powerful videos showing how school staff, coaches, and others have helped youth overcome trauma, along with resources for teachers, mentors, school nurses, and others. They include How School Staff Can Help Students Heal from Trauma, which explains how violence affects child development and what adults can do to promote resilience; and Five Everyday Gestures to Help Children Heal, which shows how supportive, caring adults can help prevent or mitigate trauma.
And our resources for college communities include:
We hope you will use and share these materials. Thank you, as always, for all the ways you support our work!