SRSLY Refocuses Mission to Support Mental Health Needs of Youth
Mental health was a major concern among youth in Chelsea before the pandemic. In many ways, things are more challenging now. Youth are navigating many trials: mental health, drugs and alcohol, stress and isolation. With this in mind, SRSLY underwent a mission expansion earlier this year to make mental health a focus for youth in the community. SRSLY’s goal is to help build a community where youth feel supported in their decision to avoid drugs and alcohol, and families have the skills and resources they need for mental health.
“SRSLY is connecting with teens in a whole new way, wherever they're at, finding out what they want and need directly from them,” said Kate Yocum, a coalition director at SRSLY. “Their voice is guiding our actions to support mental health and prevent substance abuse in Chelsea youth.”
SRSLY is here for youth, now more than ever. As a youth-led coalition, SRSLY is building a bridge of support for those who are struggling with mental health and substance abuse through community education, awareness and advocacy. By working together, the coalition is focused on preventing these struggles before they start.
“In order for SRSLY to effectively support youth and make a positive impact in their lives, listening and really hearing about them as they discuss what they are experiencing is the first step,” said Courtney Aldrich, Program Team Lead, SRSLY. “Mental health is a serious concern, and SRSLY has an opportunity to address these concern. There is correlation between mental health and substance use, which places SRSLY in a unique position to address both.”
Donate to Support SRSLY
Earlier this year, SRSLY reached the end of its 10-year federal grant that helped support operations. With the help of St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, local donors and foundations, the work continues.
This year, Michael and Suzi Coghlan will match gifts to SRSLY up to $10,000. If the coalition reaches the $10,000 goal, the Coghlans will donate an additional $5,000. This generous gift will support implementation of the youth-led action plan in 2022.
“Youth have tremendous insight, power, and influence,” Aldrich said. “If youth are given a voice to speak honestly to the issues they face and have access to the resources needed, they have tremendous ability to make a positive impact in the areas of mental health and substance use. Our role as adult supporters is to listen for understanding and to support with resources so we can positively influence the lives of young people in our community.”
“Teenagers are excited to get to work with SRSLY to have a positive impact on their peers and their community,” Yocum said. “They have so many great ideas, and SRSLY can help them turn those ideas into reality, but we need your help.”
To donate to SRSLY and to help make an impact in our community, please visit https://giving.stjoeshealth.org/srsly or use scan the QR code below:
SRSLY is a community coalition in Chelsea, Michigan that works to empower youth to live healthy, substance-free lives and promote mental health. SRSLY was formed in 2008 by community leaders and volunteers. SRSLY works to raise awareness and understanding of mental health, the connections between mental health and substance use, and the supports and resources available for both. SRSLY also promotes positive family, school, and community involvement. SRSLY receives support from the Coghlan Family Foundation, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, and the Five Healthy Towns Foundation. For more information, visit www.srsly.org or follow @srsly_community on Instagram.