SPIFFY’s “Building Strategies” Youth Event on 8/9/23

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On August 9th, 20 Hampshire County teens got together at Smith College’s Conference Center for three hours to help SPIFFY determine which strategies the SPIFFY Coalition should pursue in the next few years. At this event, SPIFFY staff reviewed where SPIFFY is at in the strategic process, including what data SPIFFY has already collected as well as the strategy ideas that both youth and adults have formulated over the past several months after looking at the needs in our local youth data.

With over 40 strategies to vote on, several strategies clearly stood out as having the most interest from young people at this event. Some of these include:

  1. Implementation of non-punitive educational materials in school.
  2. Destigmatization around using and asking for help.
  3. More staff training in schools (related to support students with their mental health).
  4. Universal Mental Health Screenings at schools.
  5. …and more!

SPIFFY is now in the midst of creating a structure (think: SPIFFY youth board or youth council) for youth to serve on in order to have a consistent and effective way for youth to be at the center of leading SPIFFY’s work. Stay tuned!

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