Mental health support for teenagers

We're a Mental Health non-profit for teenagers, currently providing free pro-bono counselors, peer supporters & partnered with other mental health organizations! We're located in California and are working towards expanding our counseling to other states.
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I love the idea of fighting the stigma. Mental health is so important and I feel like this is a step in the right direction
@savannah_crippen Thank you so much!! It is definitely something that needs to be addressed and worked on! We appreciate the support in helping us reach our goal!! :D ♡
Hey Product Hunt! I'm Mira, one of the founders of in-touch. Me and my awesome friends have noticed the heavy stigma around mental health, and how the act of reaching out for help itself makes many of us feel embarrassed and ashamed. We soon realized that we can't do much about the stigma itself. So we tried our best to work around it. We built an online resource through which teens like ourselves could find counselors and contact them virtually. This would make the embarrassment of talking to a counselor in person disappear. Effectively removing the negative feelings around reaching out for help. To deal with the second problem, the stigma around going to a professional, we decided to build a community of peer supporters. Our volunteers are here to talk to anyone who needs the support, while it is not professional help, it is a way for people to get some method of support! That, in of itself, helps out a lot! We have three main features: - Survey to get counselors - Forum with groups to build small peer support/teen support friendship circle - Blogs and Resources We are currently in the process of spreading the word about in-touch! You can help by spreading the word or donating by buying an item on our Etsy store linked below. We would appreciate any support!
Why not focus on the underlying problems causing mental health issues. I frankly dont think these kinds of services help. I do appreciate people who work on these problems though!
@ruben_change Thank you for you comment! I really appreciate the feedback! I'm not at all an expert but this is my take on the stigma. The underlying problems around mental health are more related to society and how we as humans perceive others. The reason why we discriminate in the first place is because of these ideas that individuals with mental health issues are "different". The cause of this is multiple things like movies portraying people with mental disabilities to be homicidal maniacs. That brings about a general fear around mental disabilities, increasing the stigma. Naturally, people tend to shy away from being different than others, it's human nature. When you bring in the media's portrayal of people with mental health problems being dangerous, irresponsible or childlike, it is hard to end it. There is also a heavy mix of self-stigma and prejudice. The prejudice against mental health can effect people from getting jobs, and alternatively, this can be aimed inward, causing self discrimination. This is one of the many reasons why I think people shy away from getting diagnosed, or even reaching out. They're scared of the consequences it may have on their lives socially, economically and to them as a person. Since we directly decided to work with teens, we mostly aim to help with the self-stigma and the social stigma. While we may not do much to end the stigma, we're still trying our best! :) We thought by creating peer supporters made up of normal teenagers and helping them get the hands on realization that mental health issues aren't weird, would be one small but sure way to help out. Our groups are also built on this idea. We are also doing things like going on podcasts and other opportunities of publicity, so we can portray this idea of "it happens to everyone and it is completely normal" rather than "it is an issue and you need serious help because you're crazy". You are right though. Right now most organizations, we are definitely guilty of this too, seek the easy way out and chose to work with the cream of this issue by doing things like seminars and workshops to spread awareness. I personally think those are temporary solutions and don't help out in the long run. I don't know if our take would really make that much of a difference but one can hope! Wow that was long! Thank you for checking us out @ruben_change! I hope I didn't get too deep into the topic haha. Have a great rest of your day!