Triple A: fostering safe space for youth by youth
Mental health has become an increasingly urgent issue for today's youth as it is becoming more prevalent. Therefore, it is crucial to establish a secure and nurturing environment wherein individuals can openly converse and acquire knowledge pertaining to mental health.
The Triple A initiative aims to do just that. Triple A's approach is founded on three core pillars – one for each "A" – Awareness, Acceptance and Assistance.
By raising awareness of mental health issues and promoting open dialogue, the initiative aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. The next step is encouraging acceptance, which is key to building a supportive community. A place where individuals feel safe and understood.
What sets Triple A apart is its emphasis on global youth empowerment. It is driven by a team of 25 student ambassadors from around the world, implementing changes across seven countries. As positive contributors, they all share a common passion for promoting mental health and wellbeing.
At the Shanghai Community International School, we have nine ambassadors from four grades. These ambassadors work collaboratively to implement smaller initiatives within local communities, building a global support network and fostering a safe space free of judgment for students during such challenging times.
Triple A initiatives take many forms, ranging from workshops to community events, podcasts, and more – all of which can be found on Triple A's website. Each initiative is designed to meet the specific needs of the community it serves, while also contributing to the wider goal of promoting mental health awareness and reducing stigma on a global level.
Recently, the ambassadors at SCIS attended Lifeline China's R U OK? Through these initiatives, the ambassadors are creating a positive impact, not just in their own communities, but across the world and demonstrating that mental health is an issue that affects us all.
(Suhani Chawla is ambassador for Triple A initiative from Shanghai Community International School)