TWEEN & TEEN TIK-TALK SPACE
Tweens have for years been the lost group of children where mental health support is concerned. Even before the pandemic which made suicide attempts and depression in children under the age of 13 grow tremendously, the numbers were staggering for years. Bullying, abuse, eating disorders, racism can seem insurmountable to a young child and often parents are unaware or kept in the dark.
Feeling alone in the overpowering emotions of navigating teen-hood, as well as the world of today, is a major cause for the escalation from anxiety, to depression, to suicidal thoughts, to actual attempts. The numbers of ER visits due to suicide attempts is higher for girls than boys, the rate of suicide committed by black girls under the age of 13 is double that of suicide committed by white girls.
A safe space with young peers to talk to, in the social media spaces where tweens and teens operate and communicate is desperately needed. A space where tweens can talk and realize that they are not alone in feeling overwhelmed, angsty, and having difficulty navigating teen hood, a supportive talk space, without judgement, led by young people, with a backline of professionals to be connected to, or referred to if the feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed escalates.
BFF has created such a space, with a diverse group of peer advocates and the partnership of mental health specialists for conversation, support, handholding, mental health monitoring and intervention tools.