This short guide, published by the FrameWorks Institute, contains an explanation of the underlying cultural mindsets that foster unproductive thinking about youth mental health, along with strategies to avoid and advance when talking about this issue. When communicating about youth mental health, over-emphasis on individuals’ experiences and choices, rather than collective responsibility, can worsen stigma while failing to motivate systemic action. This narrative reinforces negative stereotypes about young people and keeps their voices out of the conversation. On top of that, the dominant narrative has relied heavily on “crisis” framing while offering little to no solutions, making the issue seem insurmountable.
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