According to the 2018-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health, 1 out of 4 children and adolescents ages 3-17 in Tennessee are diagnosed with at least one disorder affecting their mental health. The CDC describes mental health as “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” 
Mental health is important for everyone and can fluctuate negatively or positively due to many factors. It affects how we take care of ourselves and interact with the world around us. In addition, recent research has found that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many children and adolescents are having more difficulty with maintaining positive mental health. This is due to new challenges such as fewer in-person interactions, increased feelings of isolation, and increased fear for their own/their loved ones’ health.
The mission of Girl Scouting is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. In order to do so, we must acknowledge that many of our girls are facing difficult times. We must address that mental health affects girls’ abilities to be the courageous, confident, change-makers that we strive for our girls to be.
Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee is introducing a new 8-week social media series called “Mental Health Mondays” to promote positive mental health in girls of all ages — and adults too! The series will run every Monday from February 15 – March 29 on our Facebook and Instagram. It will be led by Alyssa, a lifetime Girl Scout and advocate who is completing her Occupational Therapy Doctorate. This series will focus on different aspects of positive mental health and wellness each week, including information, activities, and other various strategies. Some of these topics will include:
- Coping strategies
- Healthy eating
- Sleep strategies
- Healthy social media use
In addition, be on the lookout for future leader trainings and Girl Scout programming related to mental health in the next few months!