Stamkos role in mental health is to bring in student voice and bring in students as partners and collaborators when it comes to policies or programs or action to improve youth mental health and our fundamental goal is to improve the well-being for Kentucky students decrease the stigma surrounding mental health and to increase access to a really effective prevention and treatment services for Kentucky students so what we're doing is all across Kentucky we're following a three pronged framework of learn build and act with our learned phase what we've done is over the past year we've been conducting a research study we've also been working on building and acting we're building focuses on creating a coalition of stakeholders students of course but also adult allies you can help us magnify the impact of student voice we're really hoping to bring in other students into our cause so we've built a huge group of people who's really passionate and just as driven to improve mental health as everyone in stamina is and then finally our action phase for a tangible action that can really improve mental health we've been working on that combines really all of our efforts learning the building and the acting is this event called the stamina youth mental health idea thon which is going to bring together a bunch of community stakeholders students plus all the adult allies that we've connected with through our build phase and bring everyone together to brainstorm really creative and innovative solutions to improving youth mental health where we talk to students because students voices are really never heard when it comes to the issue of mental health what they thought drove mental health issues it was causing students to be experiencing so many challenges oh it's a little rough being a teenager it comes with a lot of difficulties and everything's really fast paced you go out with social media and everyone – trying to do as much as they can as fast as possible we have to work like three outside jobs and three part-time jobs while keeping up our grades and keeping up all their extra coolers and family and there's a lot of pressure put on teenagers by society and I think that with everything changing with technology that is just so different compared to other generations we are a whole new generation and there is a generational gap between us and our parents and our teachers and all adults everyone has it experiences mental health it's just your kind of state of being and we talked about other things like coping mechanisms and what students do so throughout this research study we really wanted to capture what students and key stakeholders and adult allies had to say about mental health I absolutely believe it's important that teenagers are part of the conversation they're the ones who will tell us what their needs are we just need to listen and then respond so it makes perfect sense to have the students lead I mean the problem solvers and dealing with the issues that they're struggling with every day I think stamina is impacting the future of mental health in Kentucky because they're creating an ongoing dialogue they're doing it in a rigorous way and they're bringing the student voice to the forefront I have been around the country and I have just not seen this for youth by youth approach for mental health advocacy I mean it is youth as solution partners to raise awareness reduce stigma and lower the barriers to both prevention and treatment of mental health I come here today with stamina and the idea that because it's important for us to know what's happening on the ground in community if I had to pick one word to describe stamina it would be student driven it is the fundamental principle that we are founded on it's because students were never involved in mental health students didn't even talk about mental health but we're the ones who are experiencing our own mental health so it didn't make any sense to me that no one was talking to us about it it didn't make any sense to me that we didn't play a role in whatever programs or education we received and that is fundamentally why stamina exists and why we're here being student-led really empowers the students to support their friend or even if they're not their friend just support that cause in general I think that it's important to be an advocate because it really helps me feel like I'm contributing and using my experience and insight and really putting that towards helping others a lot of people didn't know exactly how to respond or how to help me when I had the mental illness and I feel like being able to share my experience and educate others will contribute to others getting the help that they need I went through depression while my parents were getting a divorce and it was really hard on me just like watching them kind of separate and like how that went down was like an especially rough time mental health is so important because often is disregarded and physical health comes as a priority and they both need to come as a package because without mental health you know how physical health and without physical health you don't have mental health that's why I'm excited about stamina this morning because we're going in a different direction and we're sure that everyone should have the opportunity to live healthy lives and to live safe lives and to be able to thrive I'm definitely hoping that by the end of the day that the young folks who have helped to organize today's event with stamina will have some real recommendations and public policy opportunities for us at the local and state level to make sure that we're addressing the needs of youth in the Commonwealth of Kentucky