Strategies for Youth is dedicated to keeping young people from being exposed to harmful systems, like the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Since 2010, SFY has focused on improving police/youth interactions and works directly with young people in communities across the country to educate them using their trademark educational outreach program, presented as an engaging game, Juvenile Justice Jeopardy (JJJ).
JJJ teaches youth how to navigate interactions with police, the conduct that can lead to system involvement, desistance strategies to avoid risky behavior, and the consequences of having, as well as possibilities to overcome, arrest and court records.
From Stress to Success: LGBTQ+ Youth Experiences is the newest iteration of JJJ. This program was created in recognition of the clear connection between chronic exposure to trauma and system involvement. The program is designed with a core understanding of:
- the cyclical nature of these two harmful experiences,
- the lack of access to traditional mental health services for those most impacted by system involvement,
- the forms of toxic stress and trauma that LGBTQ+ youth face, and
- the disproportionately high rates of law enforcement contact for LGBTQ+ youth, often because of family rejection.
This psychoeducational tool, developed in consultation with child and adolescent psychologists, is designed to help LGBTQ+ youth understand what trauma is, how it can be experienced, and to recognize when and under what circumstances it is triggered in themselves and in others. Finally, it helps youth develop ways to effectively manage trauma when it is activated, so they do not put themselves or others at risk or of system involvement.
For the first five organizations that ask to use From Stress To Success, and agree to participate in a study of the game's impacts by using and collecting pre-/post-game surveys, SFY will provide, free of charge*:
- Use of and access to the virtual game board (2 licenses/organization),
- Consultation on, and edits to, game questions and answers and discussion points to ensure they align with the unique needs of your organization's youth, and
- Virtual trainings for interested game leaders.
*After one year of use, if the organization wishes to continue using the game, it will be responsible for paying an annual fee of $500 to keep the game active on the virtual platform.
All other organizations will receive the same benefits and services for a reduced fee of $2,500 for the first year and a flat rate of $500/year for the years to follow.
Interested in Playing?
- SFY will provide you with a unique username to login to the website that hosts the virtual game board. Once logged in, you can start playing immediately!
- To get your username, contact Kristen Wheeler, Staff Attorney at Strategies for Youth, at [email protected] or 617-714-3789.
- Plan to let SFY know in what capacity you work with LGBTQ+ youth, where you will use the game and approximately how many young people you expect to play with.
- The SFY team will work with you to ensure that the questions and answers are helpful and relatable for the youth you work with.
Who should use this tool?
- Providers working directly with LGBTQ+ youth, ages 12-17, should be game leaders.
- Game leaders play the “game show host” role and pose the questions/answers to young players and guide the conversations that they prompt, ensuring young people receive accurate education and facilitating dialogues on these topics.
How should you use this tool?
- As an engaging format to speak with young people about the important topics of trauma and stress.
When should you use this tool?
- Whenever you want to! The game’s questions/answers are a mechanism to promote conversation between adult service providers and youth, and between peers.
- Play a game in one sitting, with a group of young people, for about 90 minutes.
- Use individual questions as prompts to start off a group therapy session.
- Dedicate 15 minutes during a weekly group session to play one category of questions.
Where should you use this tool?
- SFY suggests this specific tool be used in therapeutic settings, or other safe spaces designed to support LGBTQ+ youth.
- All you need is access to the internet and a laptop/computer with a projector or a smartboard.
How can I tell if this tool is helpful?
- SFY provides pre-/post-game surveys that track knowledge gained by players.
- The SFY team asks that you commit to having players fill these out right before and right after game play. If you send them to SFY, they will analyze the results and provide you with data on how well the tool is working.