See our interview conducted with one of our CPs discussing youth mental health.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, TYAN conducted an interview with Sena Pierre, leader of Society of Royals. Society of Royals is focused on supporting youth and advocating for their mental health. Check out what Sena shared with us below.

TYAN: What inspired you to start Society of Royals?

Sena: I started Society of Royals because of my personal experience. I had two people close to me take their lives back to back. This was a way for me to turn my pain into purpose. It was enough motivation for me to create change and support others facing similar challenges.

TYAN: What is your favorite part about running the organization?

Sena: We have many favorite factors of running Society of Royals. Helping others, community, support, education and awareness, experiencing positive outcomes, even in our own personal healing through our students. It gives us a sense of fulfillment and purpose we derive from knowing we are saving lives and providing support to those in need.

TYAN: What is your biggest takeaway from working in a sector that focuses on youth mental health?

Sena: Some of our important takeaways are impactful contributions, stigma reduction, and skill development. Working in the youth mental health sector can be a transformative experience, providing individuals with not only a sense of purpose but also valuable skills, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the human experience. It can lead to personal growth and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of young people and society as a whole.

TYAN: What is one mistake you see adults make when working with youth, as it relates to mental health?

Sena: One common mistake that we see adults make when working with youth in relation to mental health is downplaying or dismissing their feelings and concerns. This can happen for various reasons, such as thinking that the youth’s problems are not as serious as those of adults or assuming that they will grow out of it. This mistake can have detrimental effects on the mental health and well-being of young individuals. It’s essential for adults to listen actively and empathetically to young people when they express their feelings or share their mental health challenges. Dismissing or belittling their emotions can make them feel invalidated, unheard, and isolated, which can exacerbate their mental health issues. Instead, adults should create a supportive and non-judgmental environment where youth feel safe discussing their feelings and seeking help if needed. Additionally, adults should educate themselves about common mental health issues among youth, be aware of available resources, and encourage open communication about mental health to break down the stigma surrounding it. Recognizing the validity of young people’s emotions and providing appropriate support and guidance is crucial for their mental well-being.

TYAN: In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, what is your biggest piece of advice for other community partners that are trying to maintain a mentally healthy organization with their youth?

Sena: Maintaining a mentally healthy organization for youth is crucial, especially during Suicide Prevention Month. Our biggest piece of advice for community partners aiming to achieve this will be to Foster a Culture of Open Communication and Trust, Provide Mental Health Education, Create a Supportive Environment, Train Staff and Volunteers, Lead by Example. Also, to ensure that youth have easy access to mental health resources, including crisis hotlines, counseling services, and peer support groups. By following these guidelines, community partners can contribute to creating a mentally healthy organization for youth and help prevent suicide by providing essential support, education, and resources. It’s important to recognize that working in suicide prevention can also be emotionally challenging, as it involves dealing with sensitive and distressing situations. However, the satisfaction of making a positive difference in people’s lives often outweighs the difficulties for those who are passionate about this cause.

We hope that this information provides a little more insight on how you can create a safe environment for youth, and how you can maintain a mentally healthy network of young people and adults.

If you or someone you know needs to talk to a caring adult, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7, and in multiple languages.



Organizations interested in starting or expanding their youth-adult partnerships can apply to be a Community Partner. As a Community Partner, organizations can access to exclusive materials, technical support, funding, and more!