COLONIE — Youth from across town participated in the largest service and civic action event for young people in the world on Saturday, May 8, by hosting a number of activities and events geared towards promoting mental health awareness.
“We partnered with Northern Rivers and we have table set up around the The Crossings park with a number of volunteers from different sports teams and clubs like Robotics and the Key Club,” said Shannon Lipscomb, senior co-chair of the Shaker High student government and chair of the Youth Advisory Board.” “We are trying to get people out to learn about mental health and do some fun activities while doing it.”
Global Youth Service Day 2021 encompassed 916 activities in 42 countries including 49 of the United States. In Colonie it is sponsored by the Youth Advisory boards at Shaker and Colonie High Schools but many of the Colonie students were taking their SAT’s on Saturday so they could not attend. The Town’s Youth Services Division and the Albany County Department for Children Youth and Families, Youth Bureau also helped out with the event.
“The Town coordinates GYSD participation every year,” said Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan. “By volunteering, kids experience firsthand the benefits of giving their time and effort to a worthy cause. It’s a win-win proposition for everybody.”
This year the main event was a community walk that generated proceeds for Northern Rivers, a family of human service agencies including Northeast Parent & Child Society, Parsons Child & Family Center, and Unlimited Potential.
“Mental health is something we can, should, and need to be talking about, especially in this time of unprecedented anxiety and stress,” said William Gettman, CEO of Northern Rivers Family of Services. “Northern Rivers thanks and salutes these passionate youth for standing up to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and promote access, compassion, and healing for all.”
From July 2019 to June 2020, Northern Rivers service more than 6,200 children and adults, provided more than 17,000 school-based behavioral health sessions through 39 offices in six upstate, responded to more than 3,570 emergency intervention calls for children and adults in crisis, calming situations and saving lives and Provided therapy and counseling in more than 53,000 sessions to more than 4,000 children, adults, and families, helping them better cope with life’s difficult challenges.
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