What Role Can Youth and Teens Play?
In times of need, we turn to our friends and peers first. As a young person, you are in a position to truly know what is going on with your friends, siblings and fellow students in a way that adults cannot. That also puts you in a position to help in ways that adults cannot.
Youth and Teens:
You can offer nonjudgmental support to your peers as you know a conversation with someone your own age is often the only place where this nobody judging or telling a young person what to do.
You can also model caring and compassionate behavior for people your own age and younger. If you see someone in need, you dont have to be a bystander you can be an ally, a friend, and supporter.
What Can You Do?
Be a resource to your peers
Know what's available at your school or in your community so that you can offer suggestions to someone who needs support. Offer to go with a friend to talk to a trusted adult about problems, or recommend specific resources, like
Shape the world with your everyday actions
Every choice you make in how you interact with those close to you -or those around you can help change the culture so that all youth feel supported and connected. Peer to peer connection can combat depression and isolation.
Reach out when you feel isolated
Take advantage of any opportunity to break the isolation of other youth who you think may be lonely. This can be as simple as saying hi, talking on the bus or asking about someone's weekend.
Don't be a bystander
Step in when you see someone being targeted or treated badly. If you feel unsafe to intervene yourself, make the effort to connect with a trusted adult - a parent, older sibling, teacher, or coach. Tell them what you saw and identify who may need help.