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    The Importance of Accessible Resources to Communities

    May 23, 2024
    by Peachjar |

    Access to resources is more important than ever for families. That’s why at Peachjar, we’ve worked so hard on our patent-pending platform to ensure that communities have access to resources that they need, when they need, and where they need them. Studies show community support and involvement is a critical component of student success in and out of the classroom. Below are some ways access to resources beyond the classroom give children the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves through the collective effort of their school and community members.

    Access to Mental Health Resources

    In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) joined together to declare a state of emergency on the mental health of children. 

    According to the declaration, “Rates of childhood mental health concerns and suicide rose steadily between 2010 and 2020 and by 2018 suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24…We are caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, and their communities.”

    In the AAP-AACAP-CHA declaration, the organizations also called for a number of actions—one included:

    • Strengthen emerging efforts to reduce the risk of suicide in children and adolescents through prevention programs in schools, primary care, and community settings.

    There’s no question that this is a great and necessary call. However, we know that schools are already feeling the pressure of providing for students and their families. Peachjar can help make the process of answering this call to action simpler. We have a patent-pending platform that allows resource providers like Song for Charlie and SAMHSA, to reach the families that make up your district and others around the country within minutes. With life-saving resources, minutes matter. 

    Additionally,  it is important to note that regulations around accessibility to mental health resources are constantly changing, especially in light of new studies—like those that informed the AAP-AACAP-CHA declaration . At the MinnSPRA conference last fall, we learned about the changes to student ID cards and the requirement to add the
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a crisis text line, or the national 988 telephone number on student ID cards. 

    Now more than ever, accessibility to mental health resources and community support are critical to student and family well-being. 

    Access to Community Partners | Creating Community Connections

    Beyond mental health, there are other resources children, families, and communities benefit from having access to. Community partners are an important piece of the youth success puzzle,since we know that students who stay involved in athletics, clubs, and other afterschool programs provide positive and safe development opportunities. Afterschool programs are also an excellent way to cultivate interests that can help students build and develop social and emotional skills that they will rely on for years to come. Each year consists of about 6,000 waking hours. Children, on average, spend about 1,000 of these waking hours in school. Thankfully, there are many school and community resources available beyond the classroom that help children stay active and find a path to potential! Making the most of the time students have to explore and learn outside of the classroom is just as important as the skills they learn inside the classroom. 

    According to Afterschool Alliance's research, more than 15 million students, including approximately 3.7 million middle schoolers, are alone and unsupervised between 3 and 6 p.m. In this gap of time, juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are at their highest. After school programs are an effective deterrent for these kinds of behavior and provide a safe space with reliable supervision. When kids spend the time after school in a program where they can learn new skills and build friendships, the benefits are endless and their potential is unlimited.

    Access to life-saving resources 

    Increasing access to after school programs, in which students are less likely to experiment with drugs, can be life-saving and life-giving—but the importance of education around drug-use cannot be overstated. It is no secret that communities are experiencing a fentanyl crisis country-wide. Last October, Melanie’s Law was signed into effect in California. The law aims to protect students and prevent fentanyl overdoses. It also mandates that all CA public schools provide training to employees and provides a framework to educate students and families on the danger and know that they have access to resources to help prevent and respond to usage and overdoses. 

    Last summer, we launched a partnership with Song for Charlie, a California-based nonprofit providing resources nationwide to prevent teen drug use and help students find healthier ways of coping with the stress that they face. In the first 3 months of the partnership alone, information was sent to over 7 million families. They’re just one organization of so many providing educational materials and tactics to families with Peachjar. 
    Distributing information is one thing, but influencing young people is no small task—especially in a world as complex as today’s. Peachjar was founded because we want to make the distribution of information easier and more accessible to parents and guardians nationwide—because the next generation deserves to be healthy, happy, and successful in whatever ways they dream up! 

    Accomplishing that goal means making sure that parents and guardians are informed and made aware of resources available to them. It also means keeping students and their families engaged. Maybe that’s a club activity or a sport or a summer camp or a support group or a book club. Maybe it’s something a family doesn’t know they can access—yet! So many organizations the last couple of years have created programs against bullying, advocating for art, and everything in between—all serving the goal of ensuring that children are on the path to being themselves and, moreover, being proud of who they are. 

    We’ve helped over 900 districts over the last decade—let’s talk about how we can help yours. 

    Categories: Program Providers, Org Features