“Health is wealth,” that is how the saying goes. For the longest time, people have focused primarily on the physical aspect of wellness. But in recent years, individuals and groups have been more vocal about raising awareness for mental health. Despite this valiant effort, there is still a stigma surrounding discussion about mental health concerns and a disparity in accessible treatment options. To fight this disparity, Francesca Reicherter founded the nonprofit organization My Generation Corporation.
From a young age, Francesca Reicherter has used her voice to encourage her peers to live their life to the fullest and value kindness. At 12 years old, she started a blog titled Inspiring My Generation, where she wrote about how people her age can have a fulfilling life. During her high school years, the blog transitioned to a podcast.
Even as Francesca Reicherter encouraged living a balanced and well-rounded life, she experienced struggles with her mental health. In 2019, she attempted to take her life. She shares, “My uncle and godfather, Marc Taglienti, was able to talk me out of it. He supported me through this difficult time in my life, and he opened a conversation on mental health. I would not be here today if he hadn’t helped me.”
Little did she know that her uncle had struggles of his own. Just 27 days after he helped Francesca, he took his own life. “The person who gave me the strength to keep going ended his life, and it broke me. I ended up in the psych ward,” she recalls. It was there that she realized how many people were struggling. Francesca was unsatisfied with the support that the mental health system provided. “There wasn’t enough educational, emotional, and financial support. I decided I wanted to do what I can to bridge that gap. I wanted to be a voice for those who have lost loved ones to suicide, and those who are struggling but cannot speak up for themselves.”
To honor her late uncle, Francesca Reicherter launched Inspiring My Generation as a 501(c)3. “I launched this nonprofit organization on his birthday. I hope to support other people in the same way he supported me through my darkest hours,” Francesca says.
Since Inspiring My Generation Corporation’s establishment in March 2020, the organization has developed programs and initiatives that provide mental health education and support. This includes Normalize the Conversation, a podcast where individuals can share their stories to encourage discussion about different mental health-related topics. Another initiative is the Encouragement Card Program, where over a hundred handwritten cards are sent to patients in mental health institutions to offer encouragement and emotional support. The organization also launched the T3 Mental Health Grant to help alleviate financial barriers to treatment for individuals diagnosed with mental illness.
Francesca Reicherter has done a lot to advocate for better mental health support, and she shows no signs of stopping. Recently, she wrote and published the You Are Not Alone Workbook. It is an interactive workbook designed to help kids build a coping toolbox and be more familiar with their emotional wellness. “I believe that teaching young kids how to understand their emotions is a great way to encourage mental wellness from a young age,” Francesca says, “I think it is important to let our youth know that it is okay to feel that they are not alone and that there are tools that can help them.”
The You Are Not Alone Workbook serves as a way to help parents and children communicate better through interactive guided check-in exercises. These exercises focus on opening conversations about feelings, as well as providing support and validation. The workbook also comes with coloring pages, word search puzzles, and other interactive exercises. This workbook aims to help both parents and children grow into better mental health advocates together. A percentage of the proceeds are also being donated back to Inspiring My Generation, further fighting the disparity in mental health awareness, support, and treatment accessibility.
Francesca Reicherter is a person who values mental health, not just for her but for everyone. She hopes to empower others through her nonprofit’s initiatives and her workbook.
Francesca Reicherter is the founder of Inspiring My Generation Corporation, a nonprofit advocating for mental health awareness and accessibility. For more information about their initiatives, you may visit their website. She is also the author of the You Are Not Alone Workbook. More details about this workbook can be found here.