Curated Story
Langheier Flink
Source: Ashoka

Confronting the other pandemic: Mental health

This article originally appeared on Medium

One year in, how are students navigating social isolation and, for many, mental health challenges? And what creative ideas have surfaced this year that point the way forward, to a new culture of health? For perspective, we tapped two Ashoka Fellows leading networks by and for young people: Louise Langheier and David Flink.

Meet Louise

Louise started Peer Health Exchange as a college freshman, in response to the high school students she was tutoring and what they said they needed — information about mental and sexual health, delivered by someone closer to a peer than a classroom teacher. In the 20 years since, PHE has activated 15,000 peer health tutors (university students) to show up as peer health educators for 150,000 ninth graders.

Meet David

David started Eye to Eye 20 years ago at age 18 — a network by and for thousands of young people who have learning and attention challenges, like learning disabilities (LD) and attention issues. Eye to Eye teaches students that they have a right to be seen, heard, and valued. David takes pride in being a person who has dyslexia and ADHD.

Check out our highlights, and check the full conversation here (35 min).

David Flink

Ashoka Fellow since May 2014

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Ashoka insight

How can adults support young people in this moment? David and Louise advise: make sure young people are part of conversations — not just the subject of conversations. Include young people in decisions that may have been adult-driven before. Create things with young people, not for them.