Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes for young people. In late 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General and a coalition of the nation’s leading experts in pediatric health declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health.
Investing in the next generation and their readiness to learn, be resilient and balance their mental and emotional well-being will be critical.
Out of 1,516 teens surveyed:
- 75% say a mental health stigma still exists.
- They are 3x more likely to feel more peer pressure to hide their feelings than to drink or do drugs.
- 40% of teens give themselves a grade of 'C' of below for wellbeing during COVID.
- 45% have experienced excessive stress.
75% of teens worry about the future of the planet.
88% of teens feel stressed about the future of the planet.
66% of teens agree, “After I spend time outside, I feel less stressed.”
How 4-H is Making an Impact
Kids need steady and ongoing support, a place to belong and a safe, positive environment. The 4-H experience delivers exactly that for millions of kids. Through local programs, activities and experiences, 4-H provides young people a safe space to let their voices be heard and empowers them to create positive outcomes for themselves and their communities around mental health.
Using a positive youth development model, Cooperative Extension provides and builds relationships, environments and experiences where every child feels a sense of belonging. Young people in 4-H are guided by mentors and empowered to find their spark and purpose that leads to increased opportunity and achievement.
National 4-H Council Programs and Experiences
CLOVER Activities on Emotional Wellness
CLOVER offers a wide variety of educational and practical activities to help youth learn healthy habits for improved emotional wellness, including stress management, goals setting, and more.