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Rochester youth spark conversation surrounding mental health

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Rochester's younger generation is speaking up on the importance of mental health.

Rochester Community Initiative and BeWellCOVID hosted a virtual event on Facebook centered on youth mental health and community resources. A variety of students, from high school to college, discussed how to break the stigma surrounding mental health.

"To get rid of the stigma, we have to start talking about it at an early age," University of Minnesota sophomore Youser Yousif said.

Some students say they are afraid to admit they're struggling or hesitate to ask for help because they feel they won't be taken seriously. Others voiced her belief that education on mental health should be taught at a young age.

"You fear that you don't deserve to get that help yet," Mayo High School sophomore Sasha Penheiter said. "You think, 'oh, I'll just keep pushing through.' Whereas it doesn't just go from zero to 100 in one day. It's 10, 20, 30. You need to get help in between that."

The organizations are both youth led. Together, the groups are information from a mental health survey targeted towards children and adults in the Olmsted County area. The survey is anonymous and will be used to guide advocacy efforts in the area.

To listen to the entire conversation, click here.

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Beret Leone

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