“The best of insight” | Sacramento County turns schools into wellness centers | Inaugural Youth Advisory Council talks about mental health | Muralist Jermaine Tilson

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“Best of Insight”: Sacramento County initiative to place mental health clinicians in every school to create “wellness centers”. The Youth Advisory Council discusses what is missing on campuses. Muralist Jermaine Tilson.

Wellness centers

Insight listens back to some of this year’s most meaningful conversations. Just before the start of the new year, the United States Surgeon General issued an advisory / to address the mental health crisis among young Americans. In Sacramento County, the “Bureau of Education” has launched an initiative they say isn’t really happening anywhere else in the state: linking health care and schools and placing a mental health clinician at the county’s more than 300 campuses.

In January, Insight spoke to David GordonSacramento County Schools Superintendent, and Dr. Chris Williams, Director of School Mental Health and Wellness about the launch and how they secured ongoing funding to ensure that he stays.


Mental Health

Earlier this year, the Sacramento County Office of Education launched an unprecedented initiative to turn schools into “wellness centers” and, at grassroots level, changed the conversation surrounding youth mental health. At the same time, the county appointed its first-ever “Youth Advisory Council”. Council members range in age from 14 to 24 and shape policies that directly impact mental and behavioral health resources for their peers. In January, Insight spoke with Sydney Spitzer, who is the “Youth and Family PRO Program Coordinator” for the Behavioral Health Youth Advisory Board. As well as three of the original members of the Youth Advisory Council.

Savannah Karmue is the CEO of the non-profit organization “Happy Heart Advices”. Jordan Kaitapu is the founder of “Black Alumni of Folsom-Cordova Unified School District”. And Trayzell White is writing two books, “5 Phrases to Change Someone’s Life” and “15 Steps to Loving Someone With Mental Illness.”


Muralist Jermaine Tilson

We close out a “Best of” special with an inspiring story of overcoming adversity. Insight host Vicki Gonzalez first met the artist Jermaine Tilson a few years in a host program with Volunteers for America in Sacramento. Jermaine grew old out of the foster care system and experienced homelessness, but continued to create and paint. Vicki met Jermain in February about his murals exhibited as part of Wide open wallshis recent accomplishments and personally how creating a family has deepened his passion.

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