Large groups have the ability to make themselves seen and heard, especially during election season. How do we, as a society, ensure that our individual children and young people feel valued on a daily basis? For when they don’t feel seen or heard, they struggle with their perceived value. That is why, for example, peer pressure is so strong. To feel like you fit in at a young age is very important. We want our friends to see us and hear us. We will do many things, both positive and negative just to be accepted.
Those that struggle with being seen or heard because they have a mental health challenge, are more likely to end up exacerbating these challenges with negative behaviors. Giving a voice to these challenges, allows for those in these situations to be seen and heard. Providing an environment where the young person can then face these challenges with openness and transparency, without stigma, has the potential to change outcomes.
Our films at glow media seek to create an environment where a voice is given to those facing mental health challenges. When the adolescents in the films model the struggle many students face, students viewing the films will feel less alone, less stigmatized by their own issues. The teens in the film model what it is like to confide in friends about a problem, and to seek advice from a parent, a coach, or a school counselor. The importance of getting support and learning coping strategies is emphasized. Through our educational series, schools can present our films and start discussions, raising the chances that young people will feel valued despite the challenges they face.
The 2016 presidential election will be decided one way or the other today (hopefully!) Large groups of people will continue to demand that their voices be heard. Young people should and will be heard if they are valued by their peers, educators, and parents or guardians. An individual voice can be as effective as a group, and certainly deserves the same amount of value!
For more information go to www.glowmedia.org