Overview

Making mental health education for kids more inclusive.

In 2023, the US Surgeon General declared the United States was experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. For the Health Education Council (HEC) and partner, Sutter Health, this declaration highlighted one of the biggest public health risks for Californians today, affecting both mental and physical wellness, as well as weakens community and family relationships.

During the pandemic especially, HEC saw a growing need for people to find common interests, hobbies, faith, service, and have fun together. Of particular concern in this epidemic was the number of children affected, which is why both organizations had identified youth mental health as essential service priorities.

The HEC and Sutter Health approached 3fold to create a tool that showcased the importance of their work around youth mental health in a new way.

Approach

A key goal of the project was not only to help educate young Californians about how to understand and work on their mental health but also to engage entire families in a conversation, particularly those from Hispanic communities.

Cultural stigmas relating to mental health understanding and treatment, as well as lack of trust in authority figures like teachers, counselors, and those working in the medical community, are major roadblocks for many people in these communities who are struggling with depression, feelings of isolation, and other mental health challenges. With funding provided by Sutter Health, 3fold worked with HEC to promote its services and activities promoting social connection and improving health outcomes. We did this by writing and illustrating a children's book, the first in what will become a series focused on specific issues experienced by Hispanic youth relating to their mental health and wellness. Written for elementary-age children, the book features the story of Nina, a young Hispanic girl who has begun feeling disconnected from friends and family but doesn't fully understand why she feels this way or how to fix it. Her experiences are mirrored by those of her grandmother, who is struggling with life changes and loss of connection in similar ways. The book explores how connections among children, parents, grandparents, extended family, friends, and community members offer powerful opportunities to boost mental health and well-being. It also specifically uses HEC programs in the storytelling, delivering an engaging tale that encourages families to explore difficult ideas in safe and welcoming conversations, as well as offers real-world opportunities for people to begin their own mental health and community connection journeys.

Final Product

Featuring 49 colorful and fun illustrations, the book explores ideas supported by services offered by both HEC and Sutter Health, such as being present and ‘connecting’ with others to increase feelings of belonging, reduce isolation, and validate feelings for people of all ages.

Let’s talk about your community and how we can help you reach it.

3fold Communications is a community connection marketing agency specializing in recruitment and activation of diverse customers, regions, and influencers.
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