Hope for Tomorrow
The Utah PTA has a partnership with The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Utah (NAMI Utah) that officially supports the Hope for Tomorrow program. This program is a home grown Utah program that was developed by students, PTA representatives, parents, educators and other professionals.
The three goals of this program are:
- Raise awareness of mental health issues
- Erase the stigma of mental illness
- Foster hope among students and their families
The three topics discussed are:
- Mood disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Eating disorders
The three audiences involved are:
- Parents and the community
This program does not prescribe, heal, or treat. Through education, this program provides an opportunity for adolescents who suffer from undiagnosed, under-treated, or untreated mental illness to learn both when and how to seek appropriate professional help. It also provides teachers, parents and the community with information on signs and symptoms of three potential, life threatening illnesses. Education is empowering–especially when there is collaboration between homes and schools.
For questions call Julie at NAMI Utah 801-323-9900 or toll free 1-877-230-6264. For more information see http://www.namiut.org.
Update: Look below for the latest Mental Health Matters pdf.
BECOME A HOPE FOR TOMORROW CHAMPION
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people age 15-24.”
What is Hope for Tomorrow?
Hope for Tomorrow (HFT) is a school-based mental health education program that provides an opportunity for adolescents who suffer from undiagnosed, under-treated, or untreated mental illness to learn both when and how to seek appropriate help. It also provides teachers, parents and the community with information on signs and symptoms of three potential, life-threatening illnesses.
What is the biggest challenge Hope for Tomorrow faces?
The biggest challenge this program faces is how to keep it going in the schools. Hope for Tomorrow has primarily been implemented by a school’s PTA board – but once those board members are gone, the program disappears.
How can you help?
We feel one effective way of keeping Hope for Tomorrow active in the schools is to identify HFT “champions” who will adopt a school and work with the school’s PTA, counselors, or other interested parties to keep “Hope” alive from year to year. You can choose a school your children attend or attended, or the school you live closest to, or any school you feel a connection to.
“I’m busy. How much time is this going to take?”
You can put as little or as much time into being an HFT champion as you want. You can even pair up with another person and become co-champions. Basically, your job would be to make contact with the school (the PTA president or Health Commissioner is a good place to start), see if they know about Hope for Tomorrow and are currently running it in their school, and if not, provide them with information about the program and encourage them to implement it. Then you would touch base with the school yearly to ensure they continue the program. You would also keep NAMI informed of your efforts.
Hope for Tomorrow – a “gateway” to NAMI
Ultimately, we would like to see Hope for Tomorrow become a “gateway” program that leads people to other NAMI programs and resources. For example, through Hope for Tomorrow a student could learn about our Progression class for adolescents and young adults. A parent could learn about Basics, Family-to-Family, or Family Support Groups. School counselors could learn about Family Resource Facilitators. ESL students and parents could learn about Conexión and Familia a Familia.
The Hope for Tomorrow Menu of Options
What we want people to understand is that implementing Hope for Tomorrow in their school does not have to be a big, complicated process. It can be as simple as asking the school to put a link to NAMI or Hope for Tomorrow on their school website. If that’s all a school can do, that’s wonderful! Or it can be as involved as arranging a Parents and Teachers as Allies panel presentation for a teacher in-service or a parent forum. The important thing is just getting the program out there and increasing awareness.