Youth INC, a leading New York City venture philanthropy organization with a network of more than 80 youth development nonprofit partners that champion 250,000 youth, announces its participation in the second-annual Mental Health Action Day held on Thursday, May 19. Standing alongside 1,600 other companies, brands, nonprofits, and cultural leaders globally, Youth INC will drive calls to action to address the surge of loneliness and isolation felt by young people resulting from the pandemic.
As the global conversation around mental health continues - including the White House’s new unity agenda strategy to address mental health in the United States - finding effective resources and knowing how to get help remains a challenge. Convened by MTV Entertainment Group, Mental Health Action Day was created with an open-source model that has effectively united and galvanized brands, organizational leaders, and cultural leaders to seamlessly integrate the message and spirit into their existing branding and voice.
To kick off Mental Health Action Day, Youth INC was joined by Erika Soto Lamb, vice president of Social Impact Strategy, MTV Entertainment Group, for the Nasdaq Opening Bell Ceremony, which was live-streamed from 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. EDT. The ceremony launched Youth INC’s Speak Out: Mental Health Is Health campaign that aims to normalize mental health conversations, create a connection to resources, and inspire action through a virtual mosaic platform that will engage people of all ages with content and activations that demonstrate everyone has the power to take action on mental health.
Following Mental Health Action Day, Youth INC will also lead off with the third community forum of its Elevating Youth Development series, Executive Leaders Speak Out, which convenes nonprofit leaders from across the country to provide honest insights and guidance on navigating the intersectionality of race, DEI, and mental health.
“The rise in racial violence and political unrest during the pandemic have accelerated the need to address mental health stigma and its link to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Rehana Farrell, executive director, Youth INC. “We hope that by shining a spotlight on these issues, we can strengthen access to resources and open communication that encourages and normalizes mental health action.”
“The last two years have brought to light mental health challenges and made it easier to talk about them – but there is still so much work to do to help people take actions to address them,” said Soto Lamb. “That’s why the second Mental Health Action Day will focus on connection by providing leaders with resources to encourage and empower people to take action and those struggling with mental health and isolation with the tools they need to improve their emotional well-being.”
Youth INC and other MTV partners will encourage people to take their first steps towards mental health action — whether for themselves, their loved ones or advocate for systemic changes. More information on Mental Health Action Day and a current list of partners can be found at www.MentalHealthActionDay.org.