“HYA addresses mental health in the black community while also bringing awareness to the conversation of mental health to people all over. HYA has allowed me to learn about mental health as it relates to myself, friends and family. HYA allows youth to be change makers in just one of the many important conversations that need to be had. I’m glad to be a part of HYA because of the impact that I know I will make.”
“Healing Youth Alliance has been one of the greatest advocates for youth in bringing light to many topics surrounding mental health. Before hearing about the Healing Youth Alliance, I always thought that mental health wasn’t important and the things that I went through was my own battle that I had to face alone. However, Healing Youth Alliance has shown me that I am not alone, the traumatic experiences that I face every day are important, and my voice is very important in telling my stories. Healing Youth Alliance has meant so much to me because this organization has given me the power to share my stories to people all around and to also get out and push more youth to tell their stories. Healing Youth Alliance has helped me identify exactly what I am feeling, understand the things I face every day within my community, and also gave me ways to cope with my traumatic experiences.”
“Being a part of Healing Youth Alliance means so much to me. Especially knowing firsthand the stigma around mental health and the long-term consequences of not addressing mental health issues. I’m so grateful that I am able to be a part of not just an organization but a movement to help promote mental health and wellness. Not only that but just having the opportunity to give the youth a voice!” – Lamar Hill
“Healing Youth Alliance has been one of the best opportunities ever given to me. I am so grateful to have my voice heard, HYA has given me the outlet to inspire change for our youth, the black community, and the world. Healing Youth Alliance is more than teaching other about mental health it's also about building connections with the people around you and learning how to heal together.” –
“Healing Youth Alliance is Healing Youth and our community too. It means coming together as a community and pushing past the obstacles that were in place of us moving forward together. Healing Youth Alliance feels like being a part of a family that understands and connects with who I am and where I come from. Healing Youth Alliance is a refreshing fountain of water that never runs out, we drink while pouring and heal while healing. Healing Youth Alliance means I am because we are.”
Healing is the act of alleviating stress and strengthening your mind for future battles. I have had to heal from many things growing up and it has made me more resistant to becoming depressed because of the coping skills that I develop along the way. I am from Baltimore City, I've lived with four different ACES and I am currently battling three of the four ACES at the moment. I’ve lived through many things but I’ve always had a mental health provider to guide me through each battle. When I was five years old I received my first family therapist that groomed and strengthened my siblings and me for seven years. My therapist helped me understand that everything that I went through at an early age was not because of me but it was because of the world I live in and unhealed wounds. That one therapist who I cherish so dearly taught me the importance of healing and opened my eyes to so much more of the world that I will never be able to turn away from. I learned the importance of healing and understanding. The Healing Youth Alliance provides me with the opportunity to heal others, heal myself, heal my community and most of all helps me understand what it is I/we are healing from. The Healing Youth Alliance means that I can use my experiences and everything that I’ve learned to heal my community. The Healing Youth Alliance has allowed me to sit in meetings about my community and provide testimonies to the House of Delegates to make effective change in my community. The Healing Youth Alliance represents change and understanding because everything that the Healing Youth Alliance does is from lived experience. I’ve lived through trauma, I am living with trauma and I am also healing from trauma. It is important to heal yourself and heal others around you and my lived experience has taught me that. I know what it looks like when someone does not heal, I am the product of two broken people who never even understood the level
of trauma that they need to heal from. The Healing Youth Alliance is a perfect example of what it means to break generational curses and we do it every day without even realizing. The act of Black Baltimore City youth understanding mental health and how it affects a person is breaking generational curses and stigmas. The Healing Youth Alliance has afforded me the opportunity to do both, make effective change in my community and break generational cycles. The Healing Youth Alliance is breaking down stigma and barriers on mental health in the Black community each day amongst youth and adults. The Healing Youth Alliance is why I will be able to become a social worker and properly heal my community. The Healing Youth Alliance represents a higher purpose: it represents breaking down generational curses. It represents the next generation of mental health professionals. It represents the future me, the future of my community and a decline in mental illnesses amongst Black youth.
Hello, My name is James Gaither Jr. I am a HYA ambassador and the CEO of the digital design business Central Creativity. What HYA means to me is that we are like a small family who help each other out when we are all going through different things. We listen to each other and don’t judge one another. HYA has given me the power to speak about my dealings with mental illnesses, and I’m so glad that I did because I / we can all be helping the next person who doesn’t know how to deal with things. HYA is family!.
I can't place a value on how much HYA means to me. The amount of information I learned, how much I grew mentally, and the relationships I built through HYA is unbelievable sometimes. Gaining education about the things that affect me and my community the most was the best thing I could have ever done and the Healing Youth Alliance has provided me with that critical information and history about mental health in the black community. Having this knowledge has allowed me to become more aware of myself as well as teach others, young and old, about the things I've learned and how it correlates with mine and others' life experiences.
Personally, Healing Youth Alliance is the foundation of building a better future for Black mental health awareness. It’s an organization that needed to be created. It's an organization that I'm so proud to be a part of.
Healing Youth Alliance means to me, Healing Youth Among! Gathering youth that had experienced terrible traumas, and finding ways to remove yourself from those negative pathways. Unity! “Together as One”, once I heard that quote from Mr. Richard Rowe, a member from the Black Mental Health Alliance. It made me think deeply! Healing the youth in your nearest community and making sure they are healing “Together as One”. The Healing Youth Alliance taught me how to be patient with myself and others, it also taught me that “I am worth the work”, “I am worth the training”. Healing Youth Alliance is a good program to get started in
if you wanna study Social Work. But you have to discipline yourself to get where you wanna be, growth doesn’t come from just signing on to your meetings and participating. Discipline, Growth & Respect, all of them ties in with Healing Youth Alliance. It just has to come from within, once you ace that you should be good for HYA. A take away I learned and I would give is, when you see yourself or partner messing up, remember you're a COHORT so once you find out that there's a problem make sure you can handle it together as team members so you can put that aside and get the work done!
Hello My name is Zion Pittman, I'm 16 years old. To me HYA means the higher purpose of our community's mental health. Growing up in Baltimore city there has been a lack of resources when it comes to mental health. Giving this opportunity of joining the healing youth alliance has informed and educated me about black mental health most importantly. Gives me the chance to educate others so we can raise more awareness for the Black community overall and start healing each other as one for the traumas we have gone through.
Hello, My name is Shelah Johnson, I’m 19 years old. To me HYA means community healing and for our people. As a Black male in America there have been a lot of traumatic events and lack of resources for healing. I stand as a youth advocate to see that all youth have an outlet for their mental health. Within this opportunity it has been more like a backbone to me. It has educated me in a lot of ways and they also give me the chance to actually change my community. This is a brighter way to help the youth. The Healing Youth Alliance is more than an organization; it's a promise.
What does the Healing Youth Alliance mean to me?
Healing Youth Alliance means growth and acceptance. To me HYA’s point is to help yourself as well as others grow mentally. It focuses mainly on a person's mental health more than anything. I think that it’s wonderful as well as a privilege to be among such a powerful group of people. Not only that but being able to help and inform people about the mental health issues going on right around us. So what does HYA mean to me? It means POWER and its life changing.
To me the Healing Youth Alliance is power. There is so much leverage you can gain just by being educated about mental health and societal factors that influence it. Mental health is way more important than your physical health. It is the home of your well being. The brains of the operation. Low moments bring bad cycles. The high moments are the ones that prepare you for your future.
The Healing Youth Alliance means strength to me. It’s a family of healing from the unexpected group of individuals who understand mental health the most. It means the world to me that I can learn from my peers and they can learn from me and we can teach those topics to others. The unity that lies within gets stronger each and every day.