Health & Wellness Newsletter – BIPOC Mental Health Month
July 25, 2023

Health and Wellness Newsletter
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July is BIPOC Mental Health Month. BIPOC Mental Health Month became formally recognized in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the US. As we embrace this observance, we recognize the critical role Expanded Learning programs play in supporting the mental well-being of our diverse youth. 

For many BIPOC youth, Expanded Learning and Out-of-School-Time (OST) Programs serve as safe spaces that offer more than just academic enrichment. These programs are instrumental in fostering a sense of belonging, providing access to culturally responsive resources, and promoting mental health awareness and self-care.

Explore these resources on how you can celebrate BIPOC Mental Health Month and prioritize mental well-being in your programs:

Thank you for all of the amazing work you continue to do to nurture California’s youth. 

In This Newsletter:

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988 Hotline: Spanish Text and Chat Service

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its 988 Lifeline partners introduced Spanish text and chat services, along with specialized support for LGBTQI+ youth and young adults, one year after launching the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

This initiative, which is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive mental health strategy, has received almost $1 billion in funding and has successfully handled nearly 5 million contacts in its first year, providing vital assistance to millions of people in crisis.

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Risks of Misgendering Transgender Youth

Support from family, peers, and communities is crucial for the well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth. Affirming their gender identity and using chosen names can reduce suicide and self-harm risks. Multiple studies have shown that using a transgender youth’s chosen name in various settings reduces suicidal behavior by more than 50%, and socially transitioned transgender youth have depression levels similar to the general population. While research on transgender youth is limited, existing evidence highlights the significance of accepting their identities for positive outcomes, while misnaming and denying their identity can have harmful consequences.

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Designing a Suicide Prevention Program

During Covid-19 school shutdowns, suicide completion rates decreased, but they resurged as schools reopened. Suicide rates were higher during school days and months compared to weekends and breaks. To support struggling students and build successful suicide prevention programs, educators should follow the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s guidelines, which involve creating a comprehensive team with relevant stakeholders, understanding the issue through data analysis, setting specific goals, selecting or developing interventions, and implementing, evaluating, and adjusting the program for effectiveness.