Vaya Health and PATH Collaborate to Launch Youth Mental Health Program in Yancey County

Vaya Health, in collaboration with Partners Aligned Toward Health (PATH), is proud to announce a first-of-its-kind, four-week community program aimed at preventing suicide and enhancing mental health support for high school students in Yancey County.

The program, “Friday Night Unwind, Teen Night,” seeks to build resilience and reduce suicide risks by fostering structured, leisure activities in the community, supported by a network of community stakeholders, mentors, parents, and other invested community leaders.

PATH and several community stakeholders have been working together to create an initiative aligned with the successful Icelandic Prevention Model (IPM). The innovative approach focuses on developing a range of cultural, social, and artistic opportunities to empower participants to freely express themselves. The model builds trust and communication skills while addressing crucial wellness topics and mental health conversations.

The program’s diverse lineup included activities such as:

  • Game Night at Ray Cort Park (July 28): The series began with an engaging game night. Attendees enjoyed a variety of board games and active games, fostering a sense of camaraderie.
  • Arts & Crafts Party (Aug. 4):  Attendees created fridge magnets, polymer clay figurines, paint-by-numbers paintings, and more.
  • Open Mic & Karaoke Night at Maples Coffee Shop (Aug. 11): A night of music and expression took center stage with an open mic and karaoke event. Teens, guided by the encouraging presence of volunteers, showcased their talents and collaborated on performances. The night concluded on a high note with a group rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

As the series concluded, the final event ended with a dance party, offering attendees a vibrant platform to celebrate the connections they’ve made and the progress they’ve achieved throughout the program.

Vaya is a proud sponsor of the Yancey County summer series and had a resource table, alongside informational handouts, available to attendees. Vaya also donated wellness bags to all participants.

To learn more about Vaya Health’s efforts to provide mental health resources, visit:

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