DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock, the Denver Office of Children Affairs and the Mayor’s Youth Commission last night promoted creative expression as a form of mental health support for Denver’s youth. At #HelpHelps Express Yourself, the Mayor joined more than 300 of attendees as they participated in spoken word and live performances, as well as created a wall-art exhibit at Youth on Record.
“There is nothing more inspiring than seeing our youth working to build a better Denver through active and engaging programs,” Mayor Hancock said. “It was a privilege to be amongst these young, innovative leaders who have identified a major issue in our community and are working to address it head on. This city is beaming with pride.”
Through the #HelpHelps campaign, which is now in its second year, the Mayor's Youth Commission is focused on connecting youth to existing school and community based resources that can help address issues such as depression, thoughts of suicide, bullying and more.
Denver youth also had the opportunity to participate in a photo and video campaign letting their peers know that help helps. The event was catered by the Denver Housing Authority’s Culinary Academy trainees from Osage Café, and videography was provided by the International Baccalaureate Film Program Students of John F. Kennedy High School.
This event was made possible by the Mayor's Youth Commission, Denver Public Schools Student Board of Education, and multiple local organizations including Youth on Record, Art from Ashes, Mile High United Way 2-1-1 and Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado.
The Mayor’s Youth Commission is a partnership of youths and adults that provides youth voice and leadership within the City and County of Denver. Its mission is to empower young voices working with city officials to build a better Denver. The Commission is made up of 21 members;
- 11 youth ages 14 to18
- 5 city agency representatives
- 5 youth serving private or nonprofit representatives
The Commission has identified mental health as their top priority for both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years. During 2011-2012 school year the Mayor’s Youth Commission developed and distributed a youth perception survey in partnership with the Denver Public Schools Student Board of Education. The survey featured questions on transportation, mental health, jobs/internships, recreation and safety.
In setting mental health as their top priority, the Youth Commission identified two particular needs:
- Increase awareness of existing mental health resources and services (both school and community based)
- Decrease the stigma around asking for help
The Commission created and recently released a mental health resource guide for Denver youth.