GREENWOOD, Ind. — The Greenwood Education Foundation has partnered with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to kick the stigma surrounding teens and mental health.
Community partners, the school district and students are teaming up to spread awareness surrounding mental health resources to remind students who may be struggling that they aren’t alone.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death in high school students so making sure that we are talking about it as much as we can. You know, the more you talk about it the more normal it is,” said Katy Frye, executive director of the Greenwood Education Foundation.
This week through the Anthem partnership students with the Bring Change 2 Mind Club at Greenwood High School handed out swag before school that featured the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline phone number.
“When I was a freshman, I realized that a lot of people struggled but they didn’t want to talk about it. I have had people come to me and ask me for help and I have realized now that I have grown up, and that we have had all of these things come to light that people are more okay talking about it and that it is not seen as a scary topic,” said junior Eleanor Guipe.
The group said they did this to remind students that if they ever found themselves in a situation where they needed immediate help that there was a resource always available.
“It was just a really big moment to see how many people actually cared and how many people stepped forward and were willing to speak out about something that is not always talked about,” said senior Tanner Crouch.
“It is important because you don’t have to hide your emotions and you can express it with other people in that same position,” said senior Alan Burnett.
The student broadcast program at Greenwood High School recorded a podcast with some of the football players discussing the difference between mental toughness and mental health and how the two coexist, highlighting that a person can be mentally tough and still struggle with things like anxiety and depression.
“It’s important for us to be able to just get the message out there that there are resources, there are adults within the community that really care about our young ones and want to see them succeed,” said Lissi Lobb, behavior health program director with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
This week’s events are all leading up to a tailgate before Friday’s home game where there will be food trucks, games and community partners who have resources geared towards teens and mental health.
The tailgate kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday Sept. 29.