Sonoma Valley for Healing Justice

Hanna Institute in collaboration with On the Margins LLC presents: The Sonoma Valley Healing Justice Youth Responder Program

The program has two overarching goals:

  1. Build connection and reduce social isolation and loneliness associated with the COVID-19 pandemic among high school age youth participants known as “Youth Responders”.
  2. Empower Youth Responders with knowledge and skills to educate their peers and community members on the impacts of social isolation and offer approaches and resources on building healthy social connections.

The YRP is a year-long training and peer-outreach program that educates Youth Responders on the adverse health consequences of social isolation such as loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The program empowers Youth Responders to design approaches for building healthy social connections that reflect the unique strengths and resources of their cultures and communities. Youth Responders will then share this knowledge and community-building approaches with their peers and provide information on existing local crisis support services and resources. Over the course of the program, Youth Responders will build critical social connections among their cohort participants, with their high school peers, and within the broader community.

The program builds upon the success of our first YRP cohort in 2021. Grounded in Healing Justice Practice Spaces, this curriculum encourages participating youth to define health, healing, wellness, and community accountability for themselves. The program aims to create a collective and caring space where youth can come together, experience joy, engage in dialogue, learn, and explore ideas and strategies to build strong connections and promote long-term mental and emotional health.

Thank you to the Catalyst Fund for making this project possible.

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