The MAS-SSF youth support line AMALA has long been an advocate for mental health awareness. Amala Hopeline team has worked to show our community the importance of creating a safe place for our youth to prevent isolation and improve the well-being within our community. Amala provides peer support and resource referral to all callers for free.
This summer, the Amala team has had the opportunity to work with representatives from CAYEN (California Youth Empowerment Network) in order to further advocate for increased mental health resources on behalf of Muslim youth in the Sacramento area.
What is CAYEN /TAY?
CAYEN (California Youth Empowerment Network) is an organization that is run by a board of TAY (Transitional aged youth ages 16-25) that is dedicated to supporting youth groups who are dedicated to bringing more awareness of mental health within their communities. CAYEN is dedicated to helping youth to make a change in their communities and bring awareness to mental health needs specific to youth.
Why is this important?
The youth represent the future representation and leadership in our communities. Our youth need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to advocate for our communities and ensure that needs are being met. When we allow youth to be involved in decision making and allow their voices to be heard, we make sure that our community as a whole is represented. We want to make sure our youth thrive and that we all have the opportunity to make a difference. Mental health concerns often look very different among youth populations, and it is important to make sure that these needs are met. Mental health struggles and concerns exist on a spectrum from temporary struggles like minimal anxiety for a life event to severe trauma and PTSD. All struggles must be acknowledged and addressed no matter what side of this spectrum their struggles reside.
What do we want to achieve?
The MAS-SSF Muslim Transitional Aged Youth Group (TAY) is currently working toward identifying the most effective way to advocate for more accessible mental health resources specifically for our Muslim youth. The Muslim TAY youth team have identified a need for:
- Access to mental health centers that have culturally competent resources for youth
- Access to mental health resources within mosques
- Youth representation and involvement in mosques
- Culturally competent resources within our public schools
- Diversity training available to mental health educators in public schools
Do you have youth in your life that want to bring awareness to mental health? We have openings for Amala counselor with AMALA Hopeline as well as other volunteer opportunities. Check out AMALA.MAS-SSF.org for more information.