Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM)
Mental Health Promotion, Resilience, and Suicide Prevention
Programs available through the Risk and Resilience Network will allow adolescents to learn and develop life-long coping and resilience skills that are shown to help teens and young adults avoid high risk and self-destructive behavior that can lead to poor academic achievement, substance abuse, more severe psychiatric conditions, and even suicide.
The CDRC has provided YAM training in over 88 middle and high schools,
– impacting more than 20,000 students since 2016.
Youth Aware of Mental Health, YAM, is an interactive program for adolescents promoting increased discussion and knowledge about mental health, suicide prevention, and the development of problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence. YAM brings different learning methods together with the fundamental components of the program being as follows: five interactive sessions, role-playing, informational reading materials and posters for display in the classroom.
YAM encourages the development of a large set of skills and knowledge about mental health. The YAM materials are designed to convey information about mental health, coping skills and emotional intelligence to adolescents, while at once not overwhelming them with complicated information, and allowing each participating group to influence the content. The adolescents learn from both a professional and from each other through a mix of cognitive, emotional and experiential learning.
The YAM program includes education on the following themes:
- Awareness about mental health
- Self-help advice
- Stress and crisis
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Helping a friend in need
- Getting advice: who to contact
Why We Do the Work
The CDRC believes in the power of resilience and a proactive approach to engaging our community.
The YAM program was developed and tested in a large project in Europe. YAM and two other programs were administered to over 12,000 students in 179 schools, across nine European countries. The YAM program was more effective than the other programs in significantly improving adolescent mental health. We are now adapting YAM to be used in the United States.
As part of an ambitous plan to provide education and training to youth across Texas, our team is training facilitators. Learn more here.
Making mental health and resilience better understood means providing research-driven education and training. Learn more about our newest programs here.
To learn more about the impact of YAM, contact us at YAM@UTSouthwestern.edu.
For information about CDRC programs, research, or activities, contact us at CDRC@UTSouthwestern.edu.