Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands Takes Action

Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands Takes Action

Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands (GHGH) is wrapping up its fourth year as a countywide initiative for girl-led health empowerment and we could not be more proud of its achievements. GHGH and our partners have helped nearly 600 girls a year improve their confidence, access better health information and grow into community leaders. Since 2012, the girls have consistently identified healthy emotional development as their top priority and have steadily worked to create change in their communities.

Emotional Health in Monterey County

  • 33% of high school freshmen report feelings of depression
  • 31% of girls can’t find any and want support services for stress
  • 29% of girls have experienced or know someone who has experienced suicide
  • The suicide rate has nearly doubled in the last decade

These statistics demonstrate the importance of healthy emotional development and the GHGH girls have identified some strategies to make a difference.

Girl Leaders Advocate to Make a Difference

GHGH wants schools to provide a minimum of one full-time social worker, therapist or non-academic counselor to support all students at all middle and high schools in Monterey County.

GHGH Leaders presenting to MCOEGHGH girls are leading a letter-writing campaign, meeting with school district representatives and presenting at local school board meetings to help districts and the county work together to allocate funding for social and emotional health services. They are also working on educating youth in schools about the resources already available to help them cope with mental health conditions and stressors.

Want to Help?

  1. Write a letter of support to your local school district leaders.
  2. Attend a school board meeting and provide public comment in support.
  3. Participate in your school’s LCAP Funding survey (found on all school websites) and state your support for funding more non-academic counselors.
  4. Follow GHGH on facebook or twitter for action alerts.

We should be role models for the girls in our community!  – GHGH Participant


GHGH is a collaborative program of the Monterey County Health Department in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, Girls Inc. of the Central Coast, Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and the YWCA Monterey County. GHGH is supported by the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, the Claire Giannini Fund, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Women’s Fund donors. It was created by the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.