Between April 2016 and April 2017, the CKG Foundation reached over 14,000 teens. Professional young adult speakers gave presentations and testimonials about their own teenage struggles, and we followed up with small group workshops about mental health at the following schools: Deep Run High, Midlothian High, Monacan High, Trinity Episcopal, Godwin High, Collegiate, Maggie Walker Governor’s School, Millwood, Open High, Atlee High, Goochland High, St. Christopher’s School, and The Steward School. We spoke to middle school students at St. Mary’s Catholic School and St. Michael’s Episcopal School, starting their journey to understanding their mental health, the importance of having three to five positive coping skills, and one to three trusted adults in their life. We established a partnership with Communities in Schools at Thomas Jefferson High and Henrico Performance Learning Center. At these schools, we facilitated a weekly girls’ group that provided a safe, nonjudgmental space to talk about their struggles, and to teach them techniques to “hit the pause button” when life is spinning out of control. We also provided teens various opportunities to gather outside of school – for yoga, movie night, art events, volunteering, and mindfulness practice. Parents filled our office for informative chat nights, and several groups hosted informative sessions on our behalf with expert panels.
As we exhale, planning for the 2017-2018 school year is in full swing. We will continue partnerships with our existing schools and create new ones, because as Beth Curry, Director of Health and Wellness at The Steward School, recently said, “Students are in need of the information in the workshops, whether they know it or not, and they aren’t getting it anywhere else. The CKG Foundation does a great job of relaying the messages to them in a caring and mindful way.”
“The school programs really are Cameron’s legacy, her footprint for erasing the stigmas associated with teenage anxiety and depression,” says Grace Gallagher. “We know we are fulfilling her legacy every time we see a teen smile.” If you want more information regarding our programming, please contact Jodi Beland, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn and read more about all Speak Up is doing, check out their website here.