San Antonio teens launch youth mental health survey in hopes of finding solutions and resources with help from city leaders

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The San Antonio Youth Commission and Project Worth Teen Ambassadors created the survey to begin addressing the mental health needs of their communities.

SAN ANTONIO- From SAYC and the San Antonio Department of Social Services:

Crisis Text Line serves young people in any type of crisis, providing them with free, 24/7 access to the emotional support and information they need through the medium they already use and they trust: the text. Text “HOME” to 741-74.

If you or someone you know needs immediate mental health assistance, please call 911 and ask for their mental health response team.

Like many teenagers, 18-year-old Michael Valdez knows what it’s like to have mental health issues pushed aside and dismissed as unimportant.

“It doesn’t matter your gender, your background, I know people here today have learned the same lesson,” he said. “I am happy that we are here to break this tradition together.”

Along with city leaders on Tuesday, Valdez announced the launch of the SA Speak Up Teen Mental Health survey.

The survey, accessible here, targets 12-19 year olds in San Antonio who are open to sharing their mental health issues and feedback to help find potential solutions. Valdez wanted to ensure that the youth survey was created by young people.

The San Antonio Youth Commission (SAYC) and members of Metro Health’s Worth Teen Ambassadors Project began working on the survey in November.

“We understand that mental health is a widespread issue in our community and we want it addressed,” Valdez said.

Liliana Orozco, a high school student from SAYC, knows it can be difficult to talk about these issues with people, let alone strangers conducting a survey, which is why it’s possible to complete it anonymously. They also assure participants that all personal information will be kept confidential.

“No matter how bad; we all deal with anxiety because of school and responsibilities,” Orozco said. “We want to give them a voice to talk about it.”

SAYC plans to present the results to city council members after sorting out the findings, to begin discussing the implementation of resources and solutions.

“Whether it’s through outside programs, school programs, whatever they give us the feedback on what they need, we want to be able to address this issue and bring it to the city government. “said Orozco.

City manager Erik Walsh said on Tuesday: ‘Really what we’re asking is that the teenagers respond to the survey, help inform us better so that council can make the right kind of investment decisions on the how we can become better.”

District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said mental health is a big priority for the council.

“We want to hear directly from the people who are experiencing the problem, who are seeing it on the ground,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval also said if the board gets the results in time, it could shape how American Rescue Plan Act funds are used.

“$10 million is currently earmarked for youth, but we’ve also earmarked $26 million for general mental health, so we still have time to do that and we’ll start our budgeting process earlier this year,” he said. she declared.

As for raising awareness of the survey, Valdez said they depend on word of mouth from their peers. Sandoval said board members have their own connections and relationships with schools in each district, as well as after-school programs.

The survey will be open until April 8.

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