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Utah teens and young adults offered mental health help through community event

Posted at 10:02 AM, Jun 09, 2023

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A Southern Utah-based nonprofit that strives to make adults and teens feel safe to explore their thoughts and feelings is hosting its first-ever, in-person conference this Saturday at Utah Tech University in St. George.

The M.E.C.A. Project’s “Safe 2 Feel”, free event features several speakers who will help guests recognize, understand, and regulate their emotions in a friendly and safe environment.

“That’s what the whole conference is about…is to focus on your superpower which is emotion, rather than use it as a state of suffering,” explained Kristi Holt, co-founder of The M.E.C.A. Project.

Kristi started it with her husband Ryan in 2022 out of their own necessity, since they were struggling with their own mental health challenges within their marriage.

She says the idea very quickly attracted people who wanted to jump in and help create a curated experience for teens and young adults.

Currently, The M.E.C.A. Project’s web-based platform allows teens and young adults to access expert advice and resources from around the world. The group also has an established youth advisory board to help them select content that will resonate with today’s teens.

“They struggle so much with all this pressure to be so perfect academically, physically, socially,” explained 17-year-old Isabella Rose Sky, a teen ambassador and content curator for The M.E.C.A. Project. “They feel isolated because they don’t really have the skills to communicate that to other people.”

Sky said it’s important for everyone, not just teens and young adults, to educate themselves on topics like emotional awareness and emotional intelligence because it can help facilitate better communication about mental health.

The M.E.C.A. Project’s “Safe 2 Feel” event takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 at the Gardner Building on Utah Tech University’s campus in St. George.

It’s free for teens and young adults to attend. More event details can be found here.