An Evening of Hope
Towards the end of January, Hope For The Day took part in an event at Parkland High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. High school students, parents, and teachers assembled to learn more about mental health and how they could help break the stigmas surrounding mental health.
The evening started off with a four minute clip of Hannah Jeffers' short film, "Still Breathing", about a student's response to an essay prompt at school. Afterwards, Sam Sizemore, a transgender student, spoke. He began with an excerpt from a suicide note written by a transgendered high school student named Leila that went viral online. With this as his lead, he talked about the LGBTQ+ community, giving information and citing statistics on the suicide rate within the community. Most importantly, in his speech, entitled "Change Society Please", Sam addressed how we can and need to be the change in society by being more accepting and understanding of LGBTQ+ persons.
One of our surrogates, Kenedey Ward, ended the presentation portion of the evening with a speech on her lived experience and Hope For The Day. She commented on the importance of self-expression platforms and mental health education to prevent suicide. Afterwards they held a Q&A forum, where people shared their personal struggles as well as asked questions about mental health and stigma. Kenedey was able to inform the other attendees about resources and support. For her, the evening showed the value of community engagement."Most of all, out of everything, I was able to bond with a room of so many diverse individuals with one common ground; wanting to change and enhance the education and resources people have access to!"
Events such as school engagements help break stigma by openly addressing mental health. We want to thank everyone who came to Parkland High School that evening, and our surrogate Kenedey for connecting people with Hope For The Day's message.
Hope For The Day focuses on proactive suicide prevention through outreach, mental health education, and self-expression platforms.
It's Ok Not To Be Ok -- Have Hope