Awareness of and advocacies for mental health has been steadily rising in recent years. While people are more open to talking about mental health, there is still a gap in education and resources available. Francesca Reicherter founded Inspiring My Generation, a nonprofit organization, to fight the disparity in mental health awareness, support, and treatment accessibility. She also published the You Are Not Alone Workbook, which is designed to help kids and their parents get in touch with their emotional wellness.
Francesca Reicherter has lent her voice in the wellness space since she was 12 years old. At that young age, she realized the importance of living life to the fullest. She started a blog called Inspiring My Generation to inspire her peers to live fully and happily by practicing kindness to themselves and other people. She continued this blog, and eventually podcast, up through her undergrad years.
But her journey with mental health took on a more difficult path. In 2019, she attempted to take her life. It was only through the support of her uncle that she was able to survive. She recalls, “My uncle held me in his arms as I trembled in fear. He told me the importance of getting help, and he promised we would get through this together.” But just 27 days later, her uncle died by suicide. Devastated, Francesca was admitted to a psychiatric facility. “I spent a week there. I realized just how many people suffer as I have. And I grew disappointed by how we as a society mental health as a whole,” she says.
Her personal battle with mental health inspired her to dive deeper into her advocacies. She learned the importance of starting mental health awareness from a young age, and so she created an interactive workbook for kids and their parents. In the You Are Not Alone Workbook, Francesca provides strategies to help kids build a coping toolbox and get in touch with their emotional wellness. “Mental and emotional wellness can be taught to young kids. In this workbook, I made sure to include coloring pages, word searches, and interactive exercises. These activities are fun and teach them about wellness and coping in a way that they will easily grasp,” Francesca shares. The workbook serves to bridge the gap in communication between adult guardians and children through interactive guided check-in exercises. The author says, “This workbook is not tailored only to help kids or parents, but rather help them learn and grow together through guided interactive communication exercises.”
In March of last year, Francesca Reicherter launched Inspiring My Generation Corporation as a nonprofit organization. “This organization is my way of honoring my uncle. He helped me, and now I work to help others who are struggling with their mental health. I want to end the stigma associated with it and to help people gain access to the support and resources they need,” she shares.
Since its founding, the organization has developed initiatives that aid its advocacy. The organization hosts a podcast called Normalize The Conversation. In this podcast, Francesca and a guest talk about their experience with mental health. This show aims to empower others and to let them know that they are not alone in their struggles. Another initiative they launched is the Encouragement Card Program. Under this program, 1,000 handwritten cards are sent to patients in mental health facilities to offer them emotional support. A financial assistance program is also available for individuals who face financial barriers to accessing treatment. Under this T3 Mental Health Grant, the organization can sponsor treatment plans, including therapy and medications.
Francesca Reicherter also recently launched a clothing line meant to empower the person wearing it. She shares, “The designs are thoughtfully made to help people embrace their mental health. The messages on these clothes empower people while empowering others around them.”
Francesca Reicherter is a 22-year old mental health advocate, founder of Inspiring My Generation Corporation, and author of the You Are Not Alone Workbook. For more information about her nonprofit, visit this website.