Arts in Recovery for Youth (AIRY)
AIRY is one of the only youth-driven, arts-based youth suicide prevention programs in the country. Since 2016, we have helped over 200 low-income suicidal youth stay safe and recover, many who come from homes that are struggling with trauma, poverty, violence, mental health, racial injustice, discrimination, custody and addiction issues as well as lack of access to healthcare and other needed resources. We are all living in unprecedented difficult times, with issues like danger to the environment, social isolation and health anxiety, and the necessary evolution of our society so that all people may be treated equally and have access to opportunity. Our purpose is to help young people and their families who are struggling in our community by preventing suicide with meaningful work - creating a fair economy, safe environment, and a more just society particularly for underserved and low income teens and young adults, especially those that have been marginalized because of their race, gender or sexual orientation. In the last 5 years, our youth leaders learned a great deal about the work involved in making change in the community in the Art for Social Change project. Our big picture goal is for our youth leaders to continue this work in even more concrete ways - with our community leaders and in society in general. We have learned that the arts can serve as a public forum for community change, to give youth a voice, leadership opportunities and a sense of empowerment.