Adolescent Peer Support League
We are dedicated to creating a system of peer support programs for mental health in high schools throughout the country.
2022 Conference planning is underway. Open call for speakers - Contact the Conference team at 877-526-APSL
(Left to Right): Virginia Senate Bill 953 authors Alexander Moreno, Choetsow Tenzin, Lucas Johnson with Adolescent Peer Support League President Dawn Bunch at the SHARING OUR VOICE Conference at Veteran’s Plaza in Silver Spring, MD.
TEEN MENTAL HEALTH
Teenagers often struggle with the stress of being an adolescent, causing many teens to have poor mental health.
of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin developing by age 14.
of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin developing by age 24.
is the average delay between onset and intervention.
leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24 is
of students age 14 or older with a mental illness drop out of high school.
of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.
Our organization seeks to improve the status of teen mental health in the nation through establishing a peer support specialist system in high schools. We believe that the current system of mental health support for teen communities is inefficient and sometimes difficult to access.
We also believe that it is crucial to combat mental health issues in high school students as people are statistically more likely to develop mental illness during young adulthood, and high school students are highly likely to have numerous other problems as a result of having poor mental health.
Given the prevalence of poor mental health in adolescents across the nation, we need to identify new support systems, and we believe that high school peer support will be an important part of the solution.
We propose a peer-based support system for high school students where their peers can assist and counsel them. Our ultimate goal is to see these programs implemented in high schools across the nation, providing easily-accessible, systematic mental health support to teenagers. Through these programs, students will be able to utilize the support of their peers in order to guide themselves towards better mental health.
Our organization has set several goals that will ultimately lead us to implementing peer support programs in high schools across the nation.
In our first year, we lead a National Discussion in order to further identify best practices for these programs. This included a discussion of how to enhance program benefits and avoid potential risks. We used this discussion to collect the input of psychologists, school administrators, and students. This was in a forum- based format on our website.
This National Discussion provided our organization with the knowledge of what teens truly need when these programs are implemented, and served as a framework for our programs.
Ultimately, we aim to serve as a the leading organization in establishing peer support programs throughout high schools.
The Adolescent Peer Support League ("APSL") is a grassroots non-profit organization founded by Dawn Bunch in her junior year of high school. We are based in Maryland. We are an organization comprised of psychologists, students, school administrators, doctors, and business professionals across the nation who are devoted to providing peer support for high school students in order to promote teen mental health and emotional wellbeing.