On April 19, youth of Bastrop County along with adult supports, came together to co-create and co-host our first-ever youth summit. This was a day filled with activities and engaging conversation geared towards mental health and civic engagement for youth across our county.
This work was made possible by many community members and organizations, with backbone support from the Resilient Bastrop County Initiative (A coalition of Bastrop County Cares), which is primarily funded by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
The Youth Summit brought to light Bastrop County teens’ desire to create similar spaces for teens, providing a sense of belonging and focus on their emotional and mental health needs.
This day and the previous 4 years of community engagement and capacity building proved to be more impactful than any of us could have ever dreamed of. Because of the work being done in Bastrop County to support mental health resilience in teens, we the RBCI was invited by the Hogg Foundation to meet with royal delegates from the Netherlands and Hogg Foundation staff.
During her visit, Queen Máxima expressed genuine interest in the lives of the10 youth delegates, making clear her true passion for mental wealth. Her ability to build rapport so quickly with the youth was amazing to watch. She ended her conversation with the youth by asking them: “So what next?”… a question that further displayed her dedication to supporting the minds of youth throughout our world.
From here, we plan to continue our annual Bastrop County Youth Summit, creating a safe space for local youth to contend with and grow their mental wealth. Additionally, we plan to begin implementing many of the ideas shared by teens that could lead to a more resilient Bastrop County, from their perspectives. Teen only spaces, inclusion of youth in more decision-making efforts, teen dances, a mobile well-being unit and more.
If you or your teen is interested in supporting our 2023 Bastrop County Youth Summit or the Resilient Bastrop County Initiative, please email [email protected].