Our guest blogger Dyuthi Kumar, a junior at California High School in California, started a SAVE Promise Club at her school last year after hearing about the program from a leadership advisor. Serving as president of the Club, it quickly grew from about a dozen members to more than 40 in the first year alone.
In March, thousands of schools and youth organizations from across the United States will participate in Say Something Week! This week is a time for us to acknowledge the crucial role students play in keeping their communities safe.
Students are encouraged to be changemakers, to use their voices to ask for help when they see someone struggling. Or when they need help themselves. And to continue creating a more connected community where no student feels socially excluded.
It is unsurprising that during a global pandemic and constant political, social, and economic instability, many Americans are finding themselves wrought with anxiety, depression, and overall mental and emotional degradation.
“Students are losing family members, struggling financially, and unable to find normalcy in everyday life… It is now, more than ever, of utmost importance that we create feelings of connection and unity among young adults.”
Among these individuals are 75% of America’s young adults who, according to the Washington Post, have reported currently struggling with their mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that when asking young adults if they had thought about killing themselves in the past 30 days, 1 in 4 said yes.
It is a chilling reminder that youth are more vulnerable now than they have ever been. Students are losing family members, struggling financially, and unable to find normalcy in everyday life. They are disconnected from friends, mentors, and relatives who previously were sources of support; unable to participate in sports or other extracurriculars which served as outlets; and with rising COVID cases every day, countless young individuals are mourning loved ones.
It is now, more than ever, of utmost importance that we create feelings of connection and unity among young adults.
Say Something Week Activities
Say Something Week revolves around encouraging students to be changemakers and reminding us all to speak up when we see the warning signs.
California High School will be among the hundreds of schools participating and we are incredibly excited! Activities include: Student-led Community Conversations on mental health, poetry/art competitions, and “blind friend” dates to encourage students to Start With Hello.
We are planning to hold presentations on “Recognizing the Signs” of a struggling student or escalating situation. As well as inviting speakers to discuss creating positive change in our community.
Our activities all revolve around starting conversations, educating/raising awareness, and taking steps towards ensuring that no student feels socially isolated. As we love to say, “Together is a beautiful place to be.”
Some other Say Something Week activities:
- Lead a Town Hall for the school community to discuss issues pertaining to violence or social disconnect among students.
- Create a Kahoot session about “Recognizing the Signs” of a struggling student and the steps to respond.
- Ask students to sign a “Say Something Pledge” and repost on social media.
- Send thank-you cards or some form of appreciation to your school’s Trusted Adults as nominated by students.
- Post infographics on social media detailing statistics on school violence and how students speaking up can mitigate risks.
- Organize a virtual “Speed-friending” event where students can get to know each other and “Start with Hello!”
- Start a poetry or art competition with the theme of “Say Something” or a live in-person poetry slam.
Sign up for Say Something Week
Join us! Say Something Week will take place between March 1–26, 2021 and schools are encouraged to select a week that works best for them. Sandy Hook Promise will recognize participants nationwide, March 1–5, 2021.