In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in the field of youth development are sounding the alarm on the mental, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of school-aged youth. Months of isolation, virtual learning, and reduced socialization have taken a steep toll on the cognitive development of young people. These effects are acutely palpable during the summer months, when school-based mental health supports are not accessible.
Research has shown us that young people of color from low-income families are far less likely to engage with clinical mental health supports, which can often be attributed to a lack of trust. Community-based youth enrichment programs serve as trusted brokers of knowledge within family networks, but they often lack the capacity and technical knowledge to effectively support the behavioral health needs of young people. These dynamics have meant that in Boston, a city renowned for its healthcare infrastructure, young people still struggle to access clinical mental health supports.
In this program, we will explore opportunities to unlock the capacity of Greater Boston’s nonprofits to identify the mental health needs young people, develop trust-based interventions, and more effectively connect families to clinical supports. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about these intersections by hearing from funders, nonprofit leaders, and youth development experts about how leaders are working to embed mental health supports into their summer enrichment programming. We will also hear how The Summer Fund, a 51 year old donor collaborative and pooled fund is addressing these needs by working with community-based youth enrichment programs who serve as trusted brokers of knowledge within family networks.
Please join us for this important conversation as we turn our attention to Summer 2023.