“After my family lost my stepsister in December of 2017, it really rocked our world. I care about mental health and suicide prevention because I don’t want anyone else to go through the struggle that she went through. I’ve seen the stigma that if you seek help for mental health you’re either ‘weak’ or ‘weird,’ which makes a lot of people suffer in silence rather than be judged. I think it is somewhat harder for males to open up because there is a societal expectation that males are almost always strong and composed.

[To support mental health], I think the best thing that schools can do is to notify students of resources available to them and to try and break any stigma behind seeking help and mental health. As for me, I write in a gratitude journal, I talk with my parents about my day and what happened and I like to put on upbeat music when I’m feeling down.

Reach out! Reaching out may be scary, but it will be worth it in the long run.”

Tanner, Kansas