ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Suicide Prevention Council of Roanoke Valley (SPCRV) and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare (BRBH) will be hosting Youth Mental Health Awareness Month this February as a way to promote mental health wellness for youth throughout the community.

Adolescence can be a challenging time for young people and teens. Poor mental health can impact many areas of a young person’s life.

According to the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 10th and 12th graders in the counties of Botetourt and Craig and the cities of Roanoke and Salem, from 2015 to 2021, there was a 50 percent increase in 10th and 12th graders who reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row in the past 12 months.

In the same survey, 18.9 percent of 10th and 12th graders surveyed reported they made a plan about how to attempt suicide in the past 12 months.

Throughout the month of February, schools are encouraged to participate in activities that focus on students’ mental health. Local youth-serving agencies and businesses are invited to share information through social media regarding their resources available to local youth.

Youth can also participate in promoting mental health awareness through video and sticker contests in which the top three winners of each contest will be awarded a cash prize. For any young person interested in entering the contest, you can learn more at www.resilientroanoke.org.