Nationally, one in five teenagers seriously considers suicide annually* with suicide rates varying by race/ethnicity, age, gender/sexuality, or where someone lives.**
Our country’s current “help” structures for teens are not typically designed by teens, especially those who have experienced mental health challenges. Furthermore, materials and programs may not reflect
the identities, background, values, and culture that is unique to teens and is found in their communities.
Medicalized language may exacerbate stigma and lack familiar terminology used by teens and their peers.
In 2017, facing a rise in teen suicides, the Oregon Association of Students Councils joined forces with behavioral health specialists to ask teens a pivotal question: How do you want to transform mental health? Their answers became the vision for Work2BeWell
Work2BeWell activates and empowers teens, educators and communities through mental wellness curriculum and relevant digital campaigns.
W2BW’s goal is to promote teen wellness across the country; it works to normalize the conversation about mental health and reduce the stigma that surrounds it.
W2BW is rooted in three simple and transformative ideas:
- Teens know what teens need.
- Teen wellness is impacted by current events.
- Teens live in an increasingly digitally connected world.
Therefore, the program is fully teen-driven—meaning, Work2BeWell youth, alongside clinician advisors, respond in real-time to provide meaningful content that addresses the most current and pressing needs in teen communities.
Work2BeWell content and curriculum are created for the diversity of our nation’s teen communities.
W2BW fills an unmet need for meaningful stigma-free content that is designed by teens and reflects teen values, communities, language and culture.
Considerations for ethnicity, language spoken, gender and sexuality, geography, socio-economic background, neurodiversity and mental health challenges are intentional.
W2BW is available across the United States with school-based Work2BeWell clubs located primarily in California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana and Texas/New Mexico—and a W2BW National Student Advisory Council represents the diversity of this
population, with 33 students from 12 states.
W2BW recognizes that resources must be timely and responsive to the events that are impacting teens and their communities—and digital and accessible online where teens gather.
Work2BeWell is looking to strategically scale and grow in four areas to respond to the increasing popularity and demand for the program.
W2BW has focused on educating and activating student leaders through statewide and national organizations including the Oregon Association of Student Councils, the Association of Washington Student Leaders, the California Academic Directors Association (and their student organization, the California Association of Student Leaders) and the Texas Association of Student Councils. These efforts have garnered significant national attention, leading to new partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Student Council Organization and the National Association for Student Activities, leading to broad endorsement of W2BW’s training and curriculum that allows schools to use their resources without requiring individual state or district approval. W2BW plans to expand and solidify these relationships, making it even easier to schools across the
country to use their free materials as core curriculum.
Expanded youth leadership opportunities: In addition to the National Student Advisory Council, W2BW looks to develop a National Student Ambassador program to engage a minimum of 26 student leaders
with social media and podcast promotion, school-based clubs and advocacy with state and local
representatives. The current NSAC has 33 students from 12 states.
W2BW provides training in curriculum facilitation—looking to train a minimum of 600 individuals
through virtual and in-person training activities that ensure reliable curriculum delivery. This trainer
program will be scalable to ensure resources are delivered reliably and consistently by students,
educators and adult champions.
Curriculum Development and Responsive Curriculum Modules
W2BW is responsive to an ever-changing society, creating culturally and socially relevant curriculum
modules to respond to student needs in several different languages. Socially relevant curriculum topics could include community mental health, advocacy, health self-image, eating disorders, gun violence,
bullying or healthy relationships. Topics are determined quarterly or more frequently. The program also creates mini-modules and resources for use in various formats: social media, worksheets, training
We anticipate the total costs of this two-year plan to be just over $1 million.
With you, we can amplify and strengthen the Work2BeWell program, deepening the quality and consistency of program delivery, to improve the mental health of our teen population.
We welcome your support.