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Boys & Girls Clubs of America Teams Up with Influential Partners to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis
[May 13, 2024]

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Teams Up with Influential Partners to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis


As one of the nation's largest youth development organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to equipping young people with skills and experiences that lead to positive outcomes. Understanding the critical role mental and emotional health plays in the overall well-being of young people, this Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond, the organization is proud to collaborate with key partners to ensure more kids and teens have the support and resources they need to address life's challenges and reach their full potential.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240513301336/en/

To ensure youth have a safe place to receive the support they need, many Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation are equipped with resources such as sensory learning rooms, support groups, therapy animals and in some cases, dedicated mental health professionals. (Photo: Business Wire)

To ensure youth have a safe place to receive the support they need, many Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation are equipped with resources such as sensory learning rooms, support groups, therapy animals and in some cases, dedicated mental health professionals. (Photo: Business Wire)

According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Services, 2 out of 3 young people have experienced at least one traumatic event by the age of 16, making them more prone to negative outcomes in life such as academic challenges, behavioral issues, physical health conditions, mental health concerns, substance misuse, suicide ideation, relationship problems, incarceration and more.

Underscoring this in today's youth, Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2023 Youth Right Now survey, which surveys more than 100,000 kids and teens annually, found that 70% of youth report that they can't stop worrying when someting goes wrong in their life.



To ensure youth have a safe place to receive the support they need, many Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation are equipped with resources such as sensory learning rooms, support groups, therapy animals and in some cases, dedicated mental health professionals. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is also working, in partnership with Kohl's and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies, to enhance Boys & Girls Clubs services and programming to support the complex social and emotional needs of young people and to scale trauma-informed trainings for Club staff members.

"One of the most crucial ways Boys & Girls Clubs support the mental and emotional needs of young people is by recognizing and acknowledging that, for some, childhood trauma may be a part of their experience," said Dr. Jennifer Bateman, senior vice president of Youth Development at Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


"Our role goes beyond listening to what our kids and teens are struggling with - it's about ensuring caregivers and Club professionals understand the impact trauma can have and that they're equipped to help kids feel safe, heard and supported on a path to lifelong healing and a positive future."

Boys & Girls Clubs of America has also been intentional about engaging experts and partners that support and prioritize youth mental health. Collaboratively through these partnerships, Boys & Girls Clubs of America continue to strengthen the capabilities of its Club staff to build emotionally safe and inclusive spaces for all young people. These partnerships include:

  • Kohl's, through Kohl's Cares, supports the development and delivery of trauma-informed training for Boys & Girls Club staff, providing them with the skills to implement trauma-informed practices through formal and informal learning experiences with youth.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies are collectively helping to scale trauma-informed practices to Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, fortifying crucial resources for staff to better support youth mental wellness.
  • Planet Fitness, through its Judgement Free Generation® initiative, focuses on bullying prevention and creating inclusive cultures and communities. Their support includes trauma-informed care training for Boys & Girls Clubs staff, scholarships, community grants, and equipping Clubs nationwide with gyms designated as Mini Judgement Free Zones®.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings has funded the ALL STARS program since 2013, which continues to ensure coaches have the resources and training to support the mental and physical needs of young people on and off the field.
  • New York Life Foundation has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for over 30 years, supporting Be There, an approach to build awareness, skills, partnerships and family engagement to ensure Clubs are well equipped to help youth navigate loss and build resilience when facing loss and grief.

Other key supporters include Aarons, ALDI, The California Endowment, the Cencora Impact Foundation, The Cigna Group Foundation, Dove, Kimberly-Clark Foundation, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Pinterest, RBC Foundation USA, RiteAid Healthy Futures, The Starbucks Foundation, Trauma-Free World and Unilever.

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America, its partnerships and its commitment to improving the mental health of today's young people, visit Kids & Mental Health - Boys & Girls Clubs of America (bgca.org).

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. Over 5,400 Clubs serve more than 3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. The national headquarters is located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and X.


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