SRSLY Coalition Revamps Safe Homes Campaign to Provide Better Support for Teens Dealing with Mental Health
In an effort to create a safe space for children and teens to discuss mental health, the SRSLY Coalition is revamping its Safe Homes campaign to provide information and support for parents and adults who want to make their homes safe for youth dealing with substance abuse and mental illness.
With a makeover of the initiative, Safe Home participants make a commitment to provide an environment where youth will not have access to or feel pressure to use alcohol and drugs. It’s also a home where their mental health can be discussed openly and safely with an adult willing to listen.
“The original SRSLY Safe Homes project began with parents wanting to know that their kids would not have access or permission to drink at other people’s houses,” explained SRSLY director, Kate Yocum. “To join, parents simply had to pledge to not let youth drink in their home. That’s still part of it, but SRSLY’s youth wanted to take it to the next level and create more safety around seeking mental health support because we know substance abuse and mental health are so interrelated.”
A study conducted in 2019 found that 13 percent of high school students in Chelsea said that they did not have an adult they could talk to about their mental health.
“It’s important for teens to have somewhere they can go to feel validated, and Safe Homes provides that for them,” said Nicolette Rivers, an 11th grade student and member of the SRSLY student leadership team at Chelsea High School.
People who want to join the SRSLY Safe Homes campaign can start by registering at www.srsly.org/safehomes. You’ll then be invited to learn more about mental health with a 30-minute introductory video followed by one or more free evidence-based trainings including Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and Youth Mental Health First Aid. Trainings are available online or in-person through Chelsea Hospital and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
All Safe Homes campaign participants will receive a window decal that reads, “SRSLY Safe Home: Mental Health Matters HERE.”
“Our teens need adults around them who they can trust with these important conversations and who model healthy behaviors,” said Yocum. “That’s what Safe Homes is all about.”
SRSLY Chelsea's mission is connecting as a community to support youth mental health and prevent youth substance use through action, education, and advocacy. SRSLY receives support from the Coghlan Family Foundation, Chelsea Hospital, and the Five Healthy Towns Foundation. For more information, visit www.srsly.org or follow SRSLY on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.