Emotional Health PSAs for Teens Released by the Campaign to Change Direction

Did you know that one in five people have a diagnosable mental health condition and half of all lifetime condition cases of mental disorders begin by the age of 14? The Campaign to Change Direction is looking to “change the direction” of mental health across generations. As a part of the campaign, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created four public service announcements (PSAs) with the help of Give an Hour to create awareness around mental health so others can identify when a friend may be struggling.

This series of PSAs together aim to:

  1. Promote public education and awareness about mental health;
  2. Educate communities about the Five Signs of emotional suffering;
  3. Identify resources so that those in need can access help and
  4. Encourage compassion and support for individuals with mental health challenges.

One part of the series targets teens. Throughout the video, teens are guided through the reality that emotional suffering can be difficult to spot and even more difficult to talk about. There are five signs, according to the Campaign, to look for in order to identify if a friend or peer is suffering. These signs include personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness. Passing along this information to your teens can help save a life! Be sure to check out the full PSA here and find out what additional resources are available to you and your organization!


Webinar to Prepare Clubs for Federal Grants

The first part of a three part webinar series on Federal Grants took place last month in hopes to making writing a proposal for a federal grant a little less intimidating. The webinar shared information on preparing Native Boys & Girls Clubs for applying for federal grants. Participants learned, in detail, about each step of the application process from the beginning to end.

First, an overview of federal funding types as well as assessing if an organization is even eligible for the funding opportunity. Next it was discussed how to develop a grant proposal and its basic elements. There were suggestions given for proposal strategies on effectively responding to federal awards including reading all proposal instructions! The event concluded with discussion about how to successfully complete and submit an application.

Did you miss this event? Some of the tips given were save your work frequently, notice the limit of proposal and attachment sizes, and complete the application before the deadline the file size limit, and completing the application before the deadline. To learn more about this process keep an eye out for the next installment of this series which is coming soon!


Self-Love: Taking time to Rejuvenate your Passion for Serving Youth

December is a special time for any youth development professional. Club kids have a level of energy that is indescribable. Staff are diligently creating activities to keep the kids’ busy minds and bodies engaged. It can be exhausting. Before the fatigue of the holiday season sets in, take time for both you and your fellow staff members to take part in self-love to help keep the flame of dedication to serving youth aglow.

Practicing self-love is not always the most natural part of working in a youth based job but it is a critical component. It is a time for us to reinvigorate passion while acknowledging the successes of our work; both big and small. Self-love, or self-care, can be accomplished in many ways! Check out these strategies to pick which works best for you and your organization.

  • Buddy System- Pick a fellow staff member to check-in with regularly. Checking in with your “buddy” is a time to decompress and share positive words! Talking with your designated listener, or buddy, doesn’t always have to be scheduled but it is important to have at least one person that you can have an open line of communication with!

  • Cultivate awareness and compassion- Be aware of your energy levels. Is the energy tank low? Take five minutes in a quite space, without your phone if possible, and recharge. Also, it is completely okay to need five minutes to yourself! You do important work that can have stressors.

Sharing Knowledge about Boys & Girls Clubs on Native Lands

Taking the time to meet the staff members of your organization’s Native Units is a great way to show support and connect during Native American Heritage Month. This November, we’ve brainstormed a few creative ways your Club can celebrate with staff and youth from Units on Native lands and included them in the flyer for traditional Clubs.

Download this exciting resource to explore several possibilities and ideas to integrate culture into your organization’s programming, and to raise awareness about the importance of preserving tradition. Display this flyer during promotional events, as well as within your organization’s meeting rooms and front desk areas to spread the word and encourage dialogue.

Remember, supporting Native culture does not have to happen once every November. These ideas and resources can easily be utilized all year round to educate and celebrate your community’s heritage!


Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club CEO Chosen as NCAIED’s “40 Under 40”

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) created a “40 under 40” award eight years ago to celebrate Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nation citizens between the ages of 18 and 39 who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication to achieve significant contributions to Native communities throughout North America. One Boys & Girls Club in Native Lands Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be recognized as a winner of this prestigious designation this November. Jessica Cree Jock, of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and CEO of the Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club was nominated by members of her community for her significant contributions and dedication to the advancement of Native communities. Cree Jock has been invited to accept the award at the 40th Annual Indian Progress in Business Awards Gala (INPRO) held at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Santa Fe, NM. The INPRO Awards Gala is the longest standing and most prestigious Native American recognition event in the nation. Congratulations to Jessica Cree Jock for all of her hard work and this outstanding recognition!