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National YA DIG Day – May 12, 2024

National YA DIG Day takes place on May 12 every year. Can ya dig it? This day, which was created in honor of the life of an inspirational man, Shauncy Lanier Davis, is a celebration of life, self-worth, and personal growth. It has only been around since 2020, but it has inspired thousands since. People can participate in activities with others, support groups for those with mental illnesses, and receive assistance from Davis’ community after hearing about him.

History of National YA DIG Day

Since the early 90s, people have been using the expression, “Can you dig it?” It later changed to “ya dig?” and is still utilized today. In short, you use it when you want to ask someone if they are enjoying something or if they agree with something. National YA DIG Day certainly has its similarities to this commonly used phrase, but it holds a lot more meaning than just simply asking something whether they agree with you — it becomes a celebration of self.

The national day celebration began on the tenets of recognizing self-awareness, self-worth, and personal development. ‘YA DIG!’ translates to ‘You are destined for greatness.’ Everyone is supposed to be inspired and motivated to think about their worth. The objective is to raise awareness that every life is precious and should be treated accordingly; if this day succeeds in giving even one person hope, it would have been successful. National YA DIG Day was inspired by Shauncy Lanier Davis, who stood for all of the above and inspired everyone around him to feel the same way or aspire to have that level of self-worth and appreciation.

Davis would always say, “YA DIG!” to those he cared about and knew would succeed in life. The ADIZAHYR To Live Foundation, a tax-exempt, donor-supported nonprofit, established National YA DIG Day in 2020 to honor Davis’ life. He was and continues to be a guiding light for many, whether he spoke encouraging words, hugged those who felt hopeless, or listened to those who felt unheard. He loved seeing people succeed and continue to provide many individuals with hope, even though he is no longer within us. Davis’s birthday is on May 12, and by celebrating National YA DIG Day on that day, he is honored so that those who did not know him can find hope and motivation to keep going on this day.

National YA DIG Day timeline

The Birth of an Inspiration

Shauncy Lanier Davis is born on May 12 and eventually becomes a beacon of self-celebration and confidence that inspires thousands.

Can You Dig It?

The single ‘Can You Dig It?’ is released by the British indie rock band the Mock Turtles and inspires the catchphrase of a generation.

For the Poeple

Avonti Adizahyr establishes the ADIZAHYR To Live Foundation to assist low-income or uninsured individuals suffering from mental illnesses.

Inspired by Shauncy

National YA DIG Day is founded by the ADIZAHYR To Live Foundation to celebrate the life of Davis.

National YA DIG Day FAQs

What is the leading mental illness in America?

The most prevalent form of mental illness in the U.S. is anxiety disorder. Over 40 million persons in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders. Meanwhile, 7% of kids between the ages of three and 17 struggle with anxiety every year. Most people begin to experience symptoms before they are 21.

Why is mental illness increasing in our society?

The prevalence of mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among adolescents and young adults has increased significantly, and the rise of social media may be to blame. Adolescent and young adult mental health problems are rising, and social media may be a contributing factor.

Is mental illness increasing in America?

Between 2017 and 2018, 19% of adults were diagnosed with a mental illness, a 1.5 million increase from the previous year. Depression rates among adolescents aged 12 to 17 increased by 52% between 2005 and 2017.

National YA DIG Day Activities

  1. Share words of encouragement

    We go through life focusing on what we need and want, and can often forget that those around us are also trying to navigate this life and are struggling with something or finding it hard to survive, so inspire someone by encouraging them. When you meet a new person or talk to a stranger, tell them you are rooting for them or share an experience that will inspirit them to work hard or make it through a difficult time.

  2. Hug someone

    Science has proven that a hug can change someone’s life. When you hug someone, endorphin releases into the brain's reward pathways contributing to an immediate feeling of pleasure and well-being. So, give a hug, show someone you care, and be there for them if they need help or guidance.

  3. Listen to a friend or loved one

    When someone speaks, listen. One of the forms of communication is listening to the other person when they are communicating with you. It demonstrates to them that you value their opinions and that you wish to assist or support them. Be the one others confide in and ask for support when struggling.

5 Facts About Mental Health In The United States

  1. You can help prevent mental illness

    Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as trauma exposure, which can affect the likelihood of children, adolescents, and young adults developing mental health problems.

  2. Therapy and self-help are a necessity

    Treatment for mental health issues varies by individual and may include medication, therapy, or both.

  3. Nothing to do with your character

    Mental health issues have nothing to do with being lazy or weak, and many people require assistance to recover.

  4. The mentally ill are not violent

    Only 3% to 5 % of violent acts link to people with serious mental illnesses; the great majority of those who struggle with mental diseases are no more likely to act violently than anyone else.

  5. Not exclusive to adults

    Three-quarters of all mental health illnesses appear before the age of 24, and half do so before the age of 14.

Why We Love National YA DIG Day

  1. It celebrates self-worth

    In recent years it has become more acceptable to celebrate self, from body positivity to mental health awareness. People today are more confident in who they are, and they continue to encourage others to feel the same way. We adore how National YA DIG Day has inspired so many young people to embrace who they are, which will undoubtedly offer them more freedom to develop as they become older and mature.

  2. It honors the life of a legend

    Davis is why we celebrate this special day every year, given that he was such an inspiration to so many people in his community. He suffered from mental illness and battled it his whole life, inspiring others to navigate their mental health in healthier and more supportive ways. We talk about Davis today and honor his conviction that everyone is capable of greatness.

  3. It inspires mental health awareness amongst the youth

    Mental health awareness has come a long way since, for example, the early 1900s. Today, people speak openly about their mental health struggles and seek help more frequently. It is no longer socially unacceptable to talk about your troubles and challenges regarding your mental health, which is why so many young people are starting to speak up and feel comfortable doing so.

National YA DIG Day dates

2024May 12Sunday
2025May 12Monday
2026May 12Tuesday
2027May 12Wednesday
2028May 12Friday

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