Team: Changing Minds – Winner of Open Minds Initiative!
Team: Changing Minds is a national mental health response network specializing in reaching young men… and we want to transform how mental health support is offered to all young people, not just young men.
What’s the Challenge
It’s called the 10-year gap. While half of mental health challenges show up by age 14, it takes another 10+ years for most people to access help. For male-identified youth, it often takes even longer… if help comes at all.
Of all demographic groups, young men are the least likely to get mental health support. For young Black and Brown men, deeply entrenched racism further blocks their access to help. 1 The consequences can be devastating. Men are 3.6 times more likely to die by suicide,? and there has been a sharp rise in suicides among male-identified teens in recent decades. Yet, there is hope. Research shows that when young people are offered mental health support by someone they know and trust, they are much more likely to seek help sooner, saving lives and protecting futures.
That’s what Team: Changing Mind does – looks to the trusted peers and adults in young people’s lives, who are active in pastimes they love (like video games, mentoring, and sports). and prepares them to offer support – ensuring help is just a click, call, or connection away.
Team: Changing Minds is a collaboration between Futures Without Violence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. These national organizations have come together because big challenges aren’t solved alone.
In its first few years of operation, Team: Changing Minds seeks to reach 1 million people including our inaugural group of 200,000 mental health responders, who will help young people recognize the signs of mental health challenges and connect them to support earlier in their lives, before those challenges become crises.
By connecting young people to mental health support earlier and before potential crises in adulthood, the program seeks to contribute in the long-term to helping to lower rates of suicide in the United States among men, who currently make up 79% of deaths by suicide.