FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • KIDS & EDUCATION • THE QUEENS COURIER 41
kids & education
SpoSnpsoonresdo rbeyd by
Citywide teen mental health
awareness campaign launches
at Elmhurst high school
BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELLDOMENECH
firstname.lastname@example.org / @AODNewz
Th e city launched a new mental health
awareness campaign on Nov. 20 that is
meant to educate students of the already
existing services at their high schools.
First lady Chirlane McCray unveiled
the “Th ere’s Help All Around You,” campaign
at the Pan American International
High School in Elmhurst, where on Nov.
8, a 17-year-old male student stabbed a
classmate outside of the front doors aft er
McCray hinted that perhaps the violent
act was the result of untreated mental
“It’s OK to not feel OK,” she said,
who signature initiative is Th riveNYC, an
eff ort improve city mental health services
and to change the stigma associated with
seeking treatment for mental illness.
A series of posters featuring will now be
placed in public high schools around the
city to remind students that indeed there
is help all around them. Signs will feature
student artwork of things like “Th e Stress
Monster” with captions like “Does your
stress feel hard to shake and diffi cult to
fi ght alone?”
“What’s happening here is a model for
our country,” said John MacPhee, executive
CEO of the Jed Foundation, a nonprofi
t that works to protect the emotional
health and prevent suicide among teens
and young adults.
According to the nonprofi t, one out
of fi ve children struggles or will struggle
with a mental health issue each year.
Fear, embarrassment and lack of knowledge
about resources play roles in the low
number of students seeking help.
At every public high school in the city
there are mental health services such
mental health clinics, counseling and
mental health consultation. Services at
the schools vary.
Students at Pan American International
High School have been taking steps to
narrow the gap between students who
suff er from depression and anxiety and
those who seek treatment. One week out
of the year is designated to highlighting
mental health statistics and resources.
Th ey more than happy to have additional
reminders in their school encouraging
students to speak out about their troubles.
“We want to protect them before it’s too
late,” said senior Karla Ramirez.
Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech/QNS
First lady Chirlane McCray unveils the “There is Help All Around You” campaign. The citywide eff ort to bring awareness to teens about mental health services in schools launched at the Pan American High
School in Elmhurst, Queens, on Nov. 20, 2018.
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