Through the power of our BWell Saginaw partnership, which includes the Saginaw County ISD, we met the Youth Ambassadors, a unique group of high school seniors representing each one of our rural, suburban and urban school districts. They have been serving together as a cohort for three years, participating in leadership development and community service. And they have been craving opportunities to share their mental health struggles without fear of stigma or reprisal. They want to cultivate safe spaces in their schools to “chill,” turn to trained and caring adults when needed during the school day, and understand if what they are feeling is “normal.”
Indiana’s trailblazing Governor’s Public Health Commission, convened 2021-2022, left our state with stark realizations about our public health system, along with actionable recommendations. The Indiana Public Health Association (IPHA) is taking the initiative to invest in students early in their public health careers through our Student Advisory Group, drawing more students into the field and equipping them to be successful when they enter the workforce.