The Bo Tkach Foundation and Aevidum will kick off a mental health awareness campaign for local students and teachers on Thursday at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe.
According to a foundation news release, students and teachers from Carbon County high schools, and Northern Lehigh and Northwestern Lehigh high schools, will engage in an “exciting collaborative session to learn how to foster a culture of caring in their schools and communities.”
Aevidum, a Lititz-based nonprofit, empowers youth to have their friends’ backs and create cultures of care and advocacy in schools across the nation.
Along with mental health experts, the organization has developed an authentic, age appropriate program that will allow students to share information with their peers.
The intention is to start with the high school students and spread the message into the elementary schools.
Thursday’s event starts with registration and a continental breakfast at 8:15 a.m. and features a concert by the band Flintface from 8:20 to 9 a.m.
Training will run from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:15 p.m. with a lunch in between.
Joe Vulopas, teacher and Aevidum executive director, and Jim Presto, also of Aevidum, will be present at the training.
Aevidum teaches them to take the time to talk to their friend and encourage them to talk to a responsible adults, as well as drive awareness throughout the entire school.
Over 100 high schools and middle schools in Pennsylvania have adopted their model, which adapts to any existing initiatives a district has already implemented
“Studies show that 85 percent of people that we lose to suicide have suffered from a mental illness and the Center for Disease Control states that suicide of ages 15-24 is the second leading cause for loss of life,” according to the release. “There are many students that are coming forward for help with mental health issues. However many more do not come forward due to the stigma around it. Those are the kids we are most concerned with.”
The training is sponsored by The Bo Tkach Foundation and the family of Robert Best of Northern Lehigh.
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