TAC Members Attend Advocacy Day at the Capitol

by | Mar 26, 2024 | News

On Thursday, March 21, 2024, four students from the Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) joined teenagers from different schools across Louisiana to raise awareness about the mental health needs of students during Advocacy Day at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. The students are Ellissa Bryant from Bryd High School, Thomas Awagu from Caddo Magnet High, Analyce Jeane from North Caddo Magnet High, and Ethan Jeane from North Caddo Magnet High.

TAC members and other youth groups at the Advocacy Day are concerned about the current mental health crisis among youth and the increasing rates of suicide among youth in Louisiana. On the steps of the Capitol, TAC member, Ellissa Bryant, described how suicide impacts our community. Ellissa informed legislators that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 12-18. She wanted legislators to understand suicide is preventable. Ellissa believes that on-campus mental health professionals should be readily available to meet the complicated needs of students experiencing mental health issues. Ellissa showed her support for the Peer Initiative’s call to action by advocating for lawmakers to enforce the Jason Flatt Act. This Act mandates that teachers receive mandatory training in youth suicide awareness and prevention. Additionally, she called for eliminating administrative tasks for counselors during their workday.

TAC members visited Secretary David Matlock and Representative Steven Jackson of the Department of Children and Family Services, witnessing firsthand their efforts to improve Louisiana.

TAC is committed to improving the overall wellness of students attending  Caddo Parish schools. They are actively working to create trauma-informed, self-healing communities in Northwest Louisiana. Learn more about the Teen Advisory Committee at cfnla.org/tac.