Twenty-five local middle and high schools are now able to lift up youth voice and leadership to address rising rates of youth depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal ideation through $25,000 in grants to launch a new or deepen an existing school-based Aevidum Club. Funds were provided by Lehigh and Northampton Counties and promoted and distributed through Resilient Lehigh Valley. Participating middle and high schools received $1,000 each to create or implement an Aevidum program that aims to empower students to break the `stigma around depression, suicide, anxiety, and other mental health issues facing teens through peer-to-peer messaging, events, and activities. Aevidum means “I’ve got your back,” and was created by students in Lancaster, PA, after a classmate died by suicide.

“We are in a youth mental health crisis with teenagers reporting troubling increases in depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. With a collaborative and cross-sector approach, Resilient Lehigh Valley is committed to improving mental health among our youth. By expanding Aevidum programs, we can empower more youth to shape solutions and equip more schools to better meet students’ mental health needs and ensure all students feel a sense of belonging,” says Beth Tomlinson, co-founder of Resilient Lehigh Valley and senior director of community resilience at United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Schools interested in starting an Aevidum club can contact Mary Pritchard,  Aevidum’s Director of Outreach, at [email protected].

According to the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, more local youth than ever before report struggling with their mental health on a regular basis. In fact, 43% of Lehigh Valley middle and high school-aged youth report feeling depressed most days in the past 12 months.

To directly address this issue, Resilient Lehigh Valley distributed $1,000 to each of the following 25 schools to support an Aevidum program and faculty advisor:

Any middle or high school in Lehigh or Northampton counties with an Aevidum program or interest in developing one qualified for the funds. Schools will also assign a staff representative to join their county’s Suicide Prevention Task Force, which actively works to reduce youth and adult suicide rates in the Lehigh Valley. 

More information on Resilient Lehigh Valley’s resources can be found here. Learn more about Aevidum and its initiatives here.


Fostering Resilience By Promoting Compassion

Caregivers and healthcare professionals worldwide are still dealing with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and professionals…

read More

Ashi Singh Promoted to Director of Community Resilience for United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

We are excited to announce that Ashi Singh, currently serving as Director, Impact Data, will take on a…

read More

Workshop Recap: Compassion Resilience Training for Health Care Leaders

Healthcare professionals throughout the country are still struggling with the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. From mental…

read More

Get Involved

Sign up for a training session
Check out our resources in trauma awareness and trauma-informed care Discover Resources
Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on social media
Join one of our four action teams or the full coalition Join now

Be a champion for trauma informed care and systems in your own community!


Subscribe to our newsletter

Sed purus a lobortis odio urna netus eget sus porttitor volutpat euismod.