Upopolis is a safe, secure, social platform for youth living with medical needs and other stressful life challenges to connect with other youth in similar situations. Research says that youth who are able to meet others and share similar experiences have less feelings of guilt, loneliness, stress and anxiety; they are able to share their feelings and have them validated, helping to provide them with a sense of normalcy and feelings of empowerment. While we think Upopolis is a great platform for youth to connect and help each other safely navigate life’s stressful events, we wanted the youth members themselves weigh in.
We asked our Upopolis members why they love the platform, and why they think other youth should join our Upopolis family! Here’s what they had to say:
- Access to Information: “Upopolis has amazing resources.” Through our experienced child life specialists, Upopolis offers a place where children can safely ask questions and access accurate and age-appropriate medical information through our medical library. Through this information, youth are able to be prepared for and understand their medical journey at their own pace.
- A Safe Space for Expression: “I love Upopolis because, here, there are others who understand what you are going through.” Upopolis offers youth a safe space to express themselves. Upopolis youth are able to express their thoughts and feelings through blogging, posts, photos, the creation of ‘spaces’ and more with the support and supervision of mentors and healthcare professionals who understand their unique struggles and experiences; their feelings are validated and normalized as other youth respond and interact with one another.
- Easy Access: “Through Upopolis I was able to have a safe line of communication when my immune system was compromised.” Upopolis can be accessed from anywhere in the world, 24/7. Youth can continue to access the platform during their hospitalizations so they can continue to feel a sense of connectedness. Child life specialists monitor the space and address posts, concerns, and questions in a timely and safe manner.
- Connecting to Other Youth: “I have met so many friends.” On Upopolis, youth are able to connect with other youth who are going through medical needs, just like themselves! There is a whole community of youth who understand the unique struggles that each other are going through; they are there for support, comfort, advice, and friendship.
Written by Sophia, an Intern at Upopolis who just completed an internship towards becoming a certified child life specialist.