From sexuality, violence, and drug abuse to family problems, academics and smoking – the stress on today’s youth can be overwhelming. And you remember as a child and young adult – you didn’t want to talk to your parents or teachers about your problems. Instead, you turned to your friends.
One New Mexico organization is giving children and teens the tools and confidence to help their peers through tough times. Natural Helpers provides training in skills such as listening, problem-solving and referring friends to the appropriate adult resources to a select group of students and mentors in local schools. The 25-hour course teaches the volunteers to effectively help their friends and classmates deal with problems like depression, drug abuse and violence.
‘Our main focus is training youth to watch out for each other because youth know first when a friend has a problem,’ said the program’s director, JoAnn Sartorius.
JoAnn reached out to the Hoo team to donate some better bandanas to give out to the youth volunteers and we were more than happy to help! We think this program is amazing and a great asset for every school. It’s all about people helping people! Teaching youngsters effective ways to help themselves and their peers will only make it easier for them to grow into healthy and happy Hooligans.
If you are interested in learning more about Natural Helpers, or are wondering if a program would work in your school, youth group or community center, visit Prevention New Mexico.