The Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition has been addressing mental health through various activities over the past several years. In 2022, the Coalition added promoting mental wellness to their mission statement and has sought funding to implement more evidence-based programming. The concern over youth mental health has been growing.
One in four of Jones County 11th grade youth report suicide ideation. About 1/3 of 8th and 11th grade youth reported prolonged periods of feeling sad or hopeless within the past year, according to the 2021 Iowa Youth Survey.
One action step the Coalition is taking is promoting the Screen4Success resource with screening for parents, guardians, and caregivers to use with their children or other youth they are concerned about in their lives. The screening can be completed by the youth with their parent or by the youth themselves if they do not want to complete it with the parent. The results with area resources will go to whoever signs up for the screening. The area resources must still be vetted by the parent, guardian, caregiver or youth themselves. (Screen4Success is highlighted under the Alcohol/Underage Drinking page of this website.)
Other action steps that the Coalition is pursuing includes promotion of the Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, as well as the Adult MHFA training, the promotion of the Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) 2-hour training for youth 12-years of age through adults.
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