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youthjam2014Youth Jam is a youth driven event focused on preventing youth suicide and substance abuse and promoting youth strengths and health and wellness resources and activities in our community. Youth Jam began in 2008 after the suicide of a high school senior in Albuquerque. Young people attended a focus group and realized their peers did not know what resources were available to them if they or their friends were feeling suicidal or struggling with mental health and substance use related challenges. Young people in Albuquerque decided to host a fun event to teach youth and families about what their community has to offer.

The first Youth Jam was held in 2009 and four additional Youth Jam events were held annually until 2013. when the primary funding source, a federal grant, was completed. Each Youth Jam event has had between 300-500 attendees and has served as the primary family friendly prevention event focused on youth health and mental health in Bernalillo County. In 2013, Youth Jam hosted a health and wellness fair that had more than 30 agencies and activities represented, including a youth talent showcase, hula hoop contests, and a health information scavenger hunt.

Youth Jam strives to promote healthy and positive lifestyles and decisions, and to raise awareness about issues affecting youth, including:

  • Drug and alcohol use and abuse
  • Suicide and self harm
  • Mental and physical health and wellness
  • Promoting peer support
  • Personal accountability & responsibility
  • Eating disorders
  • Domestic violence
  • Teen pregnancy and sexuality
  • Healthy relationships
  • Foster care
  • Bullying and violence
  • LGBT issues

The goals of Youth Jam include:

  • Prevent suicide, substance use, and violence
  • Reduce stigma around youth health and mental health issues
  • Help youth find and use their voice regarding health and mental health issues
  • Help youth overcome their different obstacles
  • Cultivate youth leaders in our community



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