Studies show that girls are disproportionally affected by the increasing mental health crisis in America and new National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) data shows nearly 90% of parents are now prioritizing their child’s mental health over academic achievement, yet teachers are tapped, and therapists have patient waitlists up to a yearlong. The Girl Scouts Mental Wellness Initiative aims to equip our youth and their caregivers with the tools needed to support their own mental wellness and proactively practice self-care.
In the past three years, in response to the national mental health crisis, Girl Scouts has released mental wellness programming and training, including: Girls Speak Out About Mental Health Report (2020), Resilient. Ready. Strong. (2021), and started offering training for adult volunteers in Mental Wellness 101 & Delivering Inclusive Programs through gsLearn, and Youth Mental Health First Aid (2022) to support leaders identifying potential issues, helping foster skills and behaviors that lead to better well-being, and preparing older Girl Scouts with the tools to help friends and classmates in appropriate ways.
Now, in 2023, we are expanding our mental wellness program with the introduction of three mental wellness patches made possible by HCA Healthcare Foundation and developed in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Knowing My Emotions, Finding My Voice, and Showing Up For Me and You mental wellness patches designed for girls from grades 4 through 12 [Juniors to Ambassadors].
You can download troop facilitator guides and receive a free download of Mental Wellness activities. Detailed activities and meeting guides are also available in the Volunteer Toolkit in myGS.
Girl Scouts of Colorado has increased focus on mental wellness over the past several years through our Sisterhood of Support series of programming. The November Sisterhood of Support retreat is sold-out but additional retreats are being planned.
International Day of the Girl activities planned on Oct. 11 at Girl Scout DreamLab, 63 N. Quebec St., will focus on resiliency and give girls the opportunity to earn the International Day of the Girl patch.