Atlanta/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on March 04, 2024
Atlanta's 3D Girls, Inc. Champions Teen Mental Wellness with S.T.E.A.M. Programs Amid Rising Youth ViolenceSource: Facebook/3D Girls Incorporated

In Atlanta, a city besieged by escalating youth violence, local nonprofit 3D Girls, Inc. has stepped up with S.T.E.A.M. initiatives to bolster teen mental wellness. Marking World Teen Mental Wellness Day, the organization underscored the heightened need for mental health resources, particularly in the wake of the pandemic's fallout. According to a FOX 5 report, Raioni Madison, the founder and executive director of the Atlanta-based nonprofit, voiced concerns over a rise in depression, anxiety, and a decline in student involvement in previously enjoyed activities.

Madison pointed to the pandemic's lingering impact on teens, linking mental health strain with a propensity for engaging in violence. An increase in local youth violence has become alarmingly evident, with a recent incident involving a 15-year-old shot by police near Six Flags as they responded to teens firing upon officers, as detailed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. "We've seen an increase in youth violence. We've seen an increase in suicidal ideation, isolation, addiction to social media. Kids are losing interest in the things that help them to produce healthy, well-balanced lives," Madison told FOX 5.

The nonprofit, geared towards supporting more than 280 Black and brown girls across six schools in metro Atlanta, has made strides with S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) resources. This approach includes mentorship and job shadowing opportunities to foster career aspirations among these teens. A shining example of their work is the digital platform Girls Link Up, providing an online curriculum within a secure environment to tackle issues like cyberbullying, as BNN Breaking reports.

Despite the success, Madison emphasized the need for expanded assistance from government bodies. "I think there needs to be more emphasis from state and local governments to invest in organizations that are already on the ground doing the work," she conveyed in an interview with FOX 5. The call to action comes as the city confronts the intertwined challenges of youth violence and mental health ramifications from in pandemic, spotlighting the critical importance of support for youth programs like those offered by 3D Girls, Inc.