Why Not Us? Why Not Now?

Ever wondered how this project got started? Well, I’ll tell you anyway.

I met Alexa at a Talkspace conference in April 2016 in New York City. She presented eloquently and was very engaging during her discussion at the conference. At the end of her panel, the moderator noted that she was 18 years old. I was so impressed, I had to seek her out and tell her.

While lining up for lunch, I saw her. I told her I was really impressed by her knowledge of teen and young adult issues and her life experience. As we chatted quickly (of course, she was going somewhere else quickly!). we exchanged business cards. She was working out of Boston and we decided we should meet at some point.

When we did, we had two other collaborators who wanted to do the impossible: replace DARE in schools with a 60 minute panel discussion on mental health, teens, social media, and the stressors they faced. We did not have a name at a time but we had ideas and enthusiasm.  That was good enough to start creating a curriculum and talking to schools.

Our team worked at exchanging ideas and suggestions on how to present the material. It was exciting and we really wanted to go across the country and make these presentations. Our goal was to offer information, as well as educate in a fun, creative way, about the social media.

In time, our collaborators have worked with us behind the scene, as they had other personal and professional obligations that were happening. We both consider Jamieson and Abbey part of our team. Alexa Curtis and I have been working diligently to set up schools, create surveys, get good information based on studies, and a host of brainstorming ideas.

We got to speak to our first school in October. We then spoke in several other schools, 6 to be exact, spread across 3 states. We have enjoyed all the talks and gotten feedback on what was working and what was not. Alexa and I continue to work on MINT daily with passion and do everything to promote it.

So why us? Because we are a great team, we have added other collaborators since then. It will bring more excitement and more discussion, as well as a great set of opportunities. We can be flexible and present a curriculum that is adapted to the school need based on the surveys and information provided in them. We want this project to succeed. We want to reach out in every state. This is not something that is our job: it is our passion.

And we need to do it now. No one is talking social media, texting, and other newer communication devises and how it affects our teens lives significantly. We need to address it now before it gets more difficult. We are not looking to take away social media from teens: we want them to be more responsible and respectful with it, seeing the impact it has on them and on others.

It needs to be done now and we are the collaborative team to do it!

3 Tips To Combat Anxiety

Anxiety: we've all battled this one. It keeps you up at night, stressed during the day, and completely overwhelmed 24/7.

Here are three easy tips to overcome anxiety.

1. Reach out for help

          You'd be surprised to see how much reaching out for help can help. Whether you want to talk to a therapist or a friend, speaking about your feelings out loud makes everything seem a little easier, trust us. There is a lot of negativity surrounding therapy, but us at M.I.N.T strongly suggest having access to a therapist if you have one available.

Talkspace, iPrevail, and 7 Cups of Tea are free online therapy websites you can use!

2. Start writing

    Everyone needs an outlet to throw any negativity/ harsh feelings into. Our favorite tool is writing. Buy a journal, or open up Google Drive, and start writing all of your thoughts down. No harm in writing to specific people, too: you don't have to mail a letter that you write online!

3. Don't be ashamed

Since we speak to a ton of kids per day, we're familiar with what teens are dealing with. A common trend we see is a fear or insecurity of admitting you deal with anxiety. Whether you deal with anxiety, substance abuse, or depression, you have a right to be open and honest with what you're dealing with. Never be ashamed to talk about your situation with anyone, because you live in a world where you deserve to be treated with love + kindness all of the time.

Have more questions? Follow us on social media and talk to us! :)