This July, students at Reach Every Voice Summer Institute spent a week learning about advocacy and collaborating to advocate for a cause that gets them fired up. Over the next few blogs, we will share students' advocacy projects with you. Please share away and help these voices be heard!
Today: Joel, Nadia, and Nick advocate for mental health education initiatives for children and teens with disabilities.
July 18, 2019
To Whom It May Concern,
Our names are Nick Barry, Nadia Fink, and Joel Thesiger. We are writing to ask that you support education initiatives that support the mental health and well-being of children and teens with disabilities.
Can the complex development both in body and mind of certain adolescents be reduced to their autism? Laughable though this seems this is the sad state of the union for lots of autistic teens.
Unfortunately, we the children are left to suffer in silence as our cries for help go ignored.
“Addressing mental health in school is critically important because 1 in 5 children and youth have a diagnosable emotional, behavioral or mental health disorder. And, 1 in 10 young people have a mental health challenge that is severe enough to impair how they function at home, school or in the community.” (Kessler, 2005). “A vast majority aren't receiving any help from the school in the form of therapy or counseling, which raises the question: How can this situation be improved?” (Providence, 2018).
I have both anxiety and autism but my school didn't treat them as different things.
This situation can be improved by having school officials trained to handle these students with respect. Legislation at the state level is needed to provide the money for these trainings.
We ask you to support us and our efforts to implement these changes.
Three angry autistic speechless teens
Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., et al. (2005). Life-time prevalence and age-of-onset distribution of DSM-IV disorders in the national co-morbidity survey replication. Archives of General Psychiatry 62, 593-602.
P. (2018, September 05). Is mental health neglected in our children's schools? Retrieved from https://blog.providence.org/archive/is-mental-health-neglected-in-our-children-s-schools
Joel is a 15-year-old that is new to typing and finding his voice.
Nadia asks the world to presume competence of all nonspeaking autistics and to use respectful language when you talk about people who type instead of speak.
Nick is just an autistic guy trying to get his big voice out.