Young women everywhere are grappling with sexual assault and harassment. Stories shared in the newfound media awareness show that sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of gendered violence are pervasive in our culture. The impacts of sexual assault and harassment are lost jobs, thwarted opportunities, suppressed potential, not to mention the more direct impacts of humiliation, fear, and despair.
This hostile culture often has serious consequences for young women’s mental health. The overwhelmingly female survivors of sexual assault and harassment are 4 times more likely to experience PTSD, and 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive episode. What is worse, girls are significantly less likely than their male peers to seek out services and supports, or to receive treatment. And it’s not just about girls and women who are assaulted — it’s about the invalidating message that such widespread sexual assault sends to girls and young women about their worth and safety.
Young Minds’ Generation Bold initiative seeks to address these mental health challenges, building on the knowledge that girls and women are experts in their own experiences and wellness. Through Gen Bold, Young Minds partners with young women to examine the interaction of lived experiences and social systems to identify opportunities for better individual outcomes as well as mental healthcare reform. We are working together to make mental health services and supports more accessible and relevant to girls and young women.
Gen Bold’s leadership board of young female advocates (ages 18 to 26) was created to help young women take action. The Gen Bold board, with Young Minds’ help, is developing tools to aid young women in talking about mental health, identifying supports, and growing community. Together with young women and survivors, we will work to increase access to critical mental health treatment, education, and resources.
This Giving Tuesday, join Young Minds Advocacy in our effort to improve access to care for girls and women. With your help, we can support the next generation of female leaders and build a community that promotes young women’s and girls’ wellness.
Find out how to double your gift to Young Minds Advocacy with Facebook’s matching program here.