“One of the most effective things I do for self-care is to have a good cry and let all the anxiety out.”
“I take a really long bike ride around my neighborhood while listening to a podcast that is UNRELATED to Covid-19.”
“One effective thing I do for self-care is meditation. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, meditation really helps me relax and calm down.”
These are just some of the tens of thousands of tips and suggestions that have come pouring in from young people across the country as part of Blue Shield of California’s New State of Mind campaign.
New State of Mind is designed to elicit ideas from young people – for young people – about ways to reduce stress in their lives. It was launched at the beginning of the pandemic in partnership with DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change and part of our BlueSky initiative, a multi-year commitment by Blue Shield to invest millions of dollars to help provide support for teens in California. Studies show that teens who have their emotional and mental health issues addressed earlier in their lives will thrive in education and career settings, as well as experience lower health costs later in life.
The tips are funny and sincere, powerful and poignant. At last check, more than 58,000 tips have been submitted. The best tips will be consolidated into a digital guidebook that will be released to the public this summer
“It’s gratifying to see that this campaign is empowering teens,” said Antoinette Mayer, Blue Shield of California’s senior director of Corporate Citizenship. “Because it’s a rich collection of ideas, experience and advice created by and for youth, the guidebook will resonate and appeal to students, ultimately supporting our goal to foster health and resilient youth people.”
This campaign has taken on a more important role as young people across the nation navigate social distancing and ‘distance learning’ because of COVID-19-related school closures.
“DoSomething has conducted a lot of youth peer-to-peer campaigns, and we thought we might pull in a total of 25,000 tips when it was all said and done,” said Sahara Lake, Campaigns Manager at DoSomething. “We were blown away when we saw that the number of tips doubled our expectations less than halfway through the campaign.”
(Watch Sahara Lake and Blue Shield’s Bryce Williams talk about teen mental health issues during this Facebook Live session from May 14)
The plan is to have hard copies and electronic versions of the New State of Mind crowdsourced guidebook in the hands of young people, parents and educators prior to the start of the fall semester.
Lake added “The emotional cost of the pandemic on teens cannot be calculated. But the free advice that these tips provide is incredibly valuable and powerful.”
One teenager wrote in the hopes her experience would resonate, “My mantra is to stay busy. meditate. keep a smile on my face and tell people I love them every day.”