Issue Overview

The Troubled Teen Industry (TTI), which claims to “fix” struggling youth, warehouses an estimated 120,000-200,000 young people annually. Non-evidenced-based approaches, including solitary confinement, physical restraint, sexual violence, and conversion therapy, are routinely used to control youth in these facilities.

Furthering the confusion, marketing, and fear-mongering entice vulnerable decision-makers to place youth in these facilities. Despite decades of confirmed abuse, youth are continually sent to these programs, highlighting the stark lack of education about the TTI and its abuses that exists in communities.

Project Impact

Utilizing our extensive networks of survivors and allies, Project SPEAK will enter communities, both physically and virtually, to educate school and judicial systems, child placing agencies, healthcare professionals, and insurance companies on the Troubled Teen Industry.

Project SPEAK will arm decision makers with the knowledge they need to promote equitable health, education, and treatment of youth in their communities. If we can prevent unnecessary institutionalization, then we can better protect the civil, social, and human rights of youth.

Project SPEAK will create awareness and transparency into the history of the Troubled Teen Industry, the effects that it has on families and relationships, and what communities gain by keeping families together using community-based alternatives.

Theory of Change

If we educate decision-makers, we can create greater knowledge of institutionalization, the adverse effects it has on the education and health of youth, and connect families to safer alternatives within their communities.

If we can prevent institutionalization, we can normalize the mental health needs of youth, de-pathologize adolescence, and keep families together.

Join Us

Interested in participating in Project SPEAK? We are looking to more volunteers implement this program nationally. Please submit a volunteer application by clicking on the button below.