Boys to Men has a solution to the mental health crisis in teens

We have a boy crisis in our Country. What’s astounding is that boys are diagnosed with ADHD at a rate twice as high as girls. They are underperforming in school, accounting for 70 percent of all failing grades. What’s even more shocking is the suicide rate among boys is four times greater than girls, and boys are five times more likely to be incarcerated.

Boys who are fatherless or under-fathered only intensify these conditions, and they face significantly higher risks of mental health issues. With a national average of 34 percent of boys being raised in a household without a positive male role model, many are left to figure out their path to manhood alone. Neglecting to tackle mental health problems during adolescence can carry over into adulthood, potentially resulting in unemployment, substance abuse, and homelessness–issues that are prevalent in San Diego.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and Boys to Men Mentoring (B2M) is providing a successful solution to the mental health crisis for teenage boys. Proven principles coupled with in-school and open-community mentoring programs offer teenage boys a safe space to share their feelings, fears, and traumas. Volunteer mentors provide at-risk boys with the support and guidance needed to navigate challenges often faced during adolescence and develop the resilience necessary to cope with their issues.

The B2M mentoring approach draws high praise from school principals, administrators, and teachers for its documented ability to improve academic performance, attendance, and attitude as well as reduce disciplinary issues. The comprehensive approach to transformation has been the hallmark of B2M since its inception in 1996. And recently, B2M partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education on a pilot program to run mentoring programs in continuation high schools.

Moises Diaz entered the B2M program feeling overwhelmed by depression and isolation, particularly during the pandemic. Moises’ story tells of how his engagement in the program led to his ability to open up to his mentors and peers. Through B2M, Moises found a spark for learning, leadership, and giving back to his community. Now thriving at one of San Diego’s best high schools, he has a 4.0 GPA and is keeping his eyes set on his dream of attending Harvard.

Moises Diaz’s story is just one example of the transformative impact of Boys to Men’s programs, demonstrating the profound effect mentorship can have on a young man’s life. With continued support and awareness, Boys to Men Mentoring can continue to empower teenage boys and shape a brighter future for our youth.

Interested in getting involved? Email info@boystomen.org.

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