The Storytellers high school campaign is one of my favorite things at TWLOHA. You could call me biased because I also run the program along with Katie from our team… but the main reason is because of the positive impact we’ve seen this campaign have on high schools around the world.
We started this campaign to change the statistics:
- • 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
- • 2/3 of people struggling with depression don’t get the help they need.
- • Depression is the leading cause of suicide.
- • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents.
It is our belief that by talking about these issues in high schools, a student’s everyday environment, we can help change the stigma of mental health issues such as depression, addiction, self-injury, suicide, eating disorders, and more. And by changing the stigma associated with mental health, we open the door for people to stand up and say, “I’m not OK,” or “I need help.”
The first year of The Storytellers took us by complete surprise. We were humbled by the incredible response and support it received. It confirmed to us the need for a program that addresses mental health in high schools. In 2012, for our first two terms, we had 219 schools participate with a combined student population total of 236,318. That means more than 200,000 high school students had the opportunity to hear the heart of this campaign—that they are not alone, and it’s OK to talk about mental health. Together, these students, teachers, and community members raised over $100,000 for TWLOHA. Those funds will allow us to continue The Storytellers program, advance our awareness efforts, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.
There are also incentives for the students involved in the campaign. This is our way to thank schools and student organizers for all they’ve done. In addition to select events we put on for The Storytellers, we have Special Acknowledgement awards for bracket winners in a variety of categories. We are happy to announce our Fall 2012 Special Acknowledgement recipients below.
We cannot thank everyone who has participated in or supported The Storytellers enough. We are so grateful.
Fall 2012 Special Acknowledgement Recipients:
Most Active School – Austintown Fitch High School
Most Involved Student Organizer – Edith Rojas from Eaglecrest High School
Biggest Individual Fundraising Activity – Moorhead High School, “Hope. Save. Ignite. Community Walk”
Most Creative Activity – Ramestein High School, temporary “Love” tattoos
Best Use of Online Media – Ballard High School