Morgan DiRocco | Bomber Media
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the number of teenagers dealing with mental health issues is on the rise, but some students at Kenston are working to help by making the school environment more positive and accepting.
The Geauga Youth Advisory Council is a student-led organization working along with area schools to provide resources and fundraising opportunities. This year, the program’s focus is on ways to help those struggling with mental health issues.
Students from Kenston involved in the program have been working to try and take what they are learning in their meetings and applying that to make the school environment more positive and accepting.
Along with many other projects they’ve completed, the Geauga Copeline poster rollout has been among the largest and most successful this year.
“The copeline isn’t just a suicide hotline. They want you to know that if you’re just having a bad day or need someone to talk to you can call them,” said senior Anthony Alandt.
The two major things that can be done in our school and in our community to improve the mental health of everyone include changing the stigma associated mental health and knowing the resources available to help.
“I think knowing the definition between mental health and mental illness is going to help. Everybody has mental health and it’s on a different range. Sometimes it changes daily and just knowing and being tuned into that—getting people resources and help. All of those things are really important,” said Karen Lackey, prevention services director of the Youth Advisory Council.
Anyone feeling overwhelmed or in need of someone to talk to can reach out to the Geauga County Copeline: 440-285-5665.