Berks County Youth “Rally” for Mental Health Unity

Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading’s Youth Mental Health Ambassadors and Muhlenberg High School’s Aevidum Club joined forces to host an impactful event on Monday, April 8th at Muhlenberg High School.

The event brought together over 100 local Berks County youth for an entire school day. The collaborative event, aptly titled “Building Unity in our Community,” was a testament to the power of youth-driven initiatives in addressing critical issues like mental health.

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The day was dedicated to fostering awareness and understanding, as well as equipping attendees with healthy coping mechanisms. Led entirely by youth, the event aimed to create a supportive environment where young individuals could learn, grow, and support each other.

Photo courtesy of Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading.

Participants received education on mental health topics and learned valuable coping skills through engaging activities and interactive sessions. Ice breakers were employed to break down barriers and facilitate connections among attendees, fostering a sense of unity and belonging.

One of the highlights of the event was the hands-on coping skills stations, where participants had the opportunity to explore different techniques for managing stress and improving their overall well-being. From mindfulness exercises to creative outlets, these stations provided practical tools that attendees could incorporate into their daily lives.

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In addition to the interactive elements, the event also facilitated meaningful discussions around mental health in small groups.

A pivotal component of the event was the youth-led panel discussion, where Youth Mental Health Ambassadors and MHS Aevidum students shared their perspectives and experiences. This panel not only provided valuable insights but also empowered young leaders to take ownership of the conversation surrounding mental health in their community.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador Program, composed of high school students from across Berks County, serves as a beacon of hope for youth in our community striving to address mental health advocacy and education.

Through training and collaborative projects, Ambassadors are actively involved in raising awareness, reducing stigmas, and promoting suicide prevention efforts in partnership with community organizations and their peers.

“Building Unity in our Community” was a resounding success, showcasing the dedication and passion of young individuals in championing mental health initiatives. By coming together and sharing resources, knowledge, and support, these youth are driving positive change and creating a brighter future for their community. As one student shared “I liked being about to engage with other schools and people going through the same thing.”

Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading focuses on promoting a lifetime commitment to service among youth by offering volunteer projects for youth ages 11 to 18 on Saturdays, after school, during school, virtually, and during the summer. YVC of Reading, hosted by VOiCEup, is one of over 30 affiliates of Youth Volunteer Corps, headquartered in Kansas City.

YVC of Reading has engaged hundreds of young people from diverse backgrounds in over 24,000 hours of service to help this community over the past 6 years. Find more information at VOiCEup Berks is a fund of Berks County Community Foundation.

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