January: Ohio 4-H Mental Health Month

Ohio 4-H is starting the new year with a focus on mental health. As the country grapples with a global pandemic, economic downturn, and recent conversations on racial injustice, youth are experiencing added stressors and seeking new ways to cope. This month, the Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Team designed a variety of activities for youth and volunteers to better understand the importance of positive mental health. Resources include virtual training opportunities for volunteers, tip sheets, “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” a 4-H Special Interest Club, and more. Read on for details and join 4-H for a month of positive mental health!*


Virtual Programs for Volunteers and Youth

Weekly topics include: Mental Health 101, Typical Adolescence v. Emerging Mental Health, Trauma Informed Approaches Training, Suicide and Non-Suicidal Self Injury Training. Attend one or all sessions, registration deadline is one hour prior to the session at go.osu.edu/4HMMtraining 

This session equips healthy people with the practice and skills to strengthen mind and body connection, and promote holistic health and wellness. Registration deadline is one hour prior to the session at go.osu.edu/4hmindfulwellness

Youth will learn the basics of yoga, mindfulness technique, and positivity, and meet youth from across the state. Register by January 14 at go.osu.edu/HealthyMindsSPIN


Your Thoughts Matter - 4-H Project Book YouTube Review

What does mental health really mean? How many people are affected by mental health issues such as anxiety and depression? Be part of the solution by learning the answers to those questions and more. This project is ntended for advanced-level youth who are interested in learning more about mental health, why it is important to overall well-being, and steps that promote understanding and action. 

Luke Uhlenbrock, a 4-H member from Clermont County completed this project in 2020. Watch his review of Your Thoughts Matter at youtu.be/6GRbZnOfMOU, then get your project book at your local Extension office or order at extensionpubs.osu.edu.


Learn More

Want to learn more about youth and mental health? Visit the links below for healthy living information, Cloverbuds and mental health, social media links and more.

  • Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Journal Blog at u.osu.edu/4hjournal  Subscribe to this blog to get daily mental health tips during January, then receive weekly general healthy living tips beginning in February.
  • 4-H Cloverbud Connections Blog at u.osu.edu/cloverbudconnections  Subscribe and receive two articles each month about engaging with 4-H Cloverbuds (youth ages 5-8). Posts this month focus on how to focus on basic mental health practices with young children.
  • Facebook  Follow us for posts throughout the month about mental health activities, tips and more.                                                                                         Ohio 4-H Youth Development: www.facebook.com/ohio4h                                            Ohio 4-H Healthy Living: www.facebook.com/Ohio4Hhealth

National 4-H Council commissioned a mental health survey of teens in 2020. The Harris Poll found that 7 in 10 teens are struggling with their mental health in the wake of COVID-19. More than half of those surveyed said the pandemic increased their feelings of loneliness, with 64% believing it will have a lasting impact on their mental health. The survey was among the first to examine the impact this unprecedented public health crisis has had on U.S. teens. Read more at https://4-h.org/media/new-survey-finds-7-in-10-teens-are-struggling-with-mental-health/


Activities & Resources

Download these activities to use at home or in club settings.

Hunt (4-H)ealth Activity Card: Increase your mindfulness and positive mental health with these activities. Challenge yourself or your friends to complete the card by the end of January.

Healthy Living Tip Sheets: Here's a variety of topics designed to help you and your family consider different aspects of positive mental health.

Coping with COVID Curriculum: This is a collection of ten lesson plans focused on mental, emotional, and social health during the current pandemic. These lessons may be taught virtually or in-person and include by facilitation tips and tricks, Ohio Department of Education Standards, and suggested evaluation.. This curriculum was created by the Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Design Team and can be requested at go.osu.edu/CopingWithCOVID.


*IF YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP...

Some mental health situations may call for professional help. If you or someone you know needs connected to professional resources read Ohio State University’s Center for Public Health Practice Mental Health Resource Guides. Go to u.osu.edu/cphp/ohio-mental-health-resource-guides/, find the county you need and select it to bring up local resources.