Zero Reasons Why JOCO Advisory Board Meeting Notes

August 28, 5-6:30p

For our first board meeting of the year, we began our time discussing the expectations for board members. Each board member is expected to attend every board meeting they can, facilitate one in-school event per semester, attend and assist with one community convening per semester, be willing to appear on camera and potentially talk to the media and assist with community partner events as available.

Discussion: Goals for the Year

We spent our time together sharing what we hope to accomplish on the campaign this year. Our goals can be broken down into two main categories: Community Engagement and School Engagement with the following areas of emphasis:

  • In-School Events
  • Advocacy Day
  • Yellowout Games
  • Middle School Committee
  • Fall Convening Promotion
  • Campaign Recruitment
  • Partnering with Local Business

Community Engagement

For community engagement, we spent some time talking about attending and recruiting for our October convening. This will take place on October 10 from 5-6:30p at the Olathe Indian Creek Library.  We also discussed Advocacy Day, which will take place in March on a date TBD. Prior to Advocacy Day, we will want to be briefed on what bills are being voted on that impact teen mental health and suicide prevention so that we will be able to have more effective conversations with KS state legislators.

Additionally, we explored the possibility of partnering with local businesses such as Cosentino’s and other grocery stores who would potentially support the campaign with a fundraiser or sponsorship. We will want to explore this opportunity to fundraise for yellowout t shirts, in particular. We also emphasized the importance of finding local businesses such as the Junk Drawer in Olathe, Sweet Tee’s Coffee, and Cause Coffee who are passionate about supporting teen mental health and suicide prevention and would be willing to partner with us on community events.

We also explored the idea of having another art-themed mental health showcase, perhaps more publicized than the one we had in the past. We will look to have an event like this sometime in the Spring, perhaps in April or May for Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Olathe Communities that Care Family Day was also brought to our attention as an event we could participate in. We discussed working with Johnson County Mental Health Center to get a table at this event and promote the campaign to families.

In-School Engagement

For in-school event engagement, we began by discussing the reality that mental health and suicide prevention are still topics that are stigmatized and often not taken seriously. Because of this, we want to focus a lot of our energy on promoting the message of the campaign in our schools.

We determined that the first step for in-school engagement is hosting an in-school event at each of the schools represented on the board. Davis will reach out to school officials about scheduling this event, including board members on the email. Board members will also reach out to school officials as well about their desire to host an event. One strategic way to promote these events and the campaign in general is to reach out school newspapers and other channels of communication.

In addition to these smaller in-school events, we decided to focus on hosting a “yellowout” at an athletic event during the year. During yellowouts, fans in the student section will wear attire that brings attention to the campaign, typically a yellow shirt, yellow bandana, or ZRW branded shirt. Due to the time required to schedule a yellowout, we recommend planning to hold this event during a basketball game in the winter rather than a football game during the fall. It needs to be determined if we want to hand out bandanas or ZRW t-shirts. If we opt for ZRW t-shirts, we will need to plan fundraisers to raise money for the shirts. Planning for these events should begin happening ASAP and will include contacting the AD of a school and whoever is involved, with planning themes/spirit days for games, typically STUCO. Board Members can work with Amy and Davis to plan yellowout events.

Finally, we discussed ways to continue the work began by the middle school committee. Since part of removing stigma is starting conversations and education about mental health at an earlier age, we want to work to strengthen our efforts in reaching our younger peers with mental health resources.

Action items to be completed by next meeting:

  • Reach out to a school official about your school hosting an in-school event
  • Invite at least one friend to next month’s meeting and encourage them to be involved with the campaign throughout the year
  • Contact STUCO or other necessary group about the possibility of having a yellowout game in the winter
  • Contact mental health clubs (if present at your school) about implementing ZRW and school newspapers about ZRW promotion

NEXT BOARD MEETING: (Tentative) Monday, September 25, 4:30-6p, Prairie Star Room, Lenexa City Center