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4-H Virtual PYD Academy on Youth Mental Health

Helping Youth Thrive – Building 4-H Professional Capacity to Strengthen Youth Mental Health through Positive Youth Development

4-H Youth Development can play an important role in supporting youth mental health, but many 4-H professionals are uncertain of how to respond, unclear what their role is, and lack the knowledge and skills needed to provide 4-H programs that strengthen youth mental health.

The 2022 Virtual 4-H Academy on Youth Mental Health is intended to increase the capacity of 4-H professionals to support youth and their mental health through high-quality PYD programs. The academy will provide cutting edge information on the state of youth mental health, help attendees understand a PYD response to the crisis, learn about the unique needs of particular youth populations, hear from youth about how 4-H has supported their mental health during the pandemic, and build capacity for effective approaches for supporting youth during this time.

The overarching goal of the academy is to ground 4-H’s approach to supporting youth mental health in the practice of positive youth development, including

  • Raising awareness of the current state of youth mental health in the U.S. and the unique role that youth development organizations like 4-H can play in addressing it

  • Developing an understanding of a PYD approach to supporting youth mental health

  • Learning how the 4-H Thriving Model provides a clear roadmap to supporting youth mental health through a PYD approach

  • Learning the multiple factors that negatively influence mental health, and why they have a stronger negative impact during the pandemic

  • Understanding the youth populations that ar