HANCOCK COUNTY — Middle and high school years can be confusing and frustrating at times for teenagers, particularly more so with social media, the pandemic and the pressures associated with striving for success.
A mental health awareness program called Rise Above It, created by Hancock Health’s Healthy365 initiative, is being hosted later this month by Southern Hancock schools to help teens work through everyday life issues.
The program’s aim is to start a conversation about mental health in the county, to support others to and teach young people how to reach out and get the help they need, officials with Healthy365 said.
Discussions on multiple topics chosen by high school students will be available during an open session to be held at New Palestine Intermediate School, 5613 W. County Road 200S, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. The event is open to anyone 12 years of age or older.
“The need for support for our students always exists,” said Southern Hancock communications director Wes Anderson. “Healthy365 have been great partners in this.”
The Rise Above It program rotates among schools in the county’s four school districts. Amanda Hinkle, the healthy community manager and System of Care coordinator for Healthy365, said the fifth annual event will feature speakers and workshops that focus on a variety of mental health topics.
A flier for the event lists these areas for discussion: anxiety, social media, grief and loss, depression/suicide, smoking/vaping, substance misuse, self-regulation and mind-body medicine.
Associated vendors will have booths to offer information on services related to mental health and wellness. “Hidden in Plain Sight,” an exhibit of a simulated teen’s bedroom, will be set up.
Organizers of the event said they know adults and teens face a variety mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety. Additionally, Indiana has rising rates of addiction, substance abuse and use of nicotine products.
Together officials said everyone can open up about mental health and substance abuse in the County and make a difference. One of the ways we’re doing that is through Rise Above It.
The program is part of a campaign to raise awareness about mental health issues issues that also includes Bring Change to Mind clubs — student-led groups dedicated to mental health conversations.
The school-based clubs’ goals are to empower students to educate one another and the communities, and to create a culture of peer support within their schools.
Through both Rise Above It and Bring Change to Mind, students and their families can also learn how to talk about mental health together in order to change perceptions and reduce stigma.
A question-and-answer session will be offered at the end of the evening. All presenters will be in one room to answer questions.
A virtual option is available for anyone who can’t attend in person. Those who are interested may visit www.behealthy365.org/riseaboveit/ for more information and a link to register. Dinner will be provided.
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Rise Above It program
When: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Where: New Palestine Intermediate School, 5613 W. County Road 200S, New Palestine.
Who: Hosted by Healthy365. This event is open to anyone 12 years of age or older.
More information: www.behealthy365.org/riseaboveit/