STARK COUNTY, Ohio — All 12 Stark County high schools are coming together to work through the stress of being separated, in isolation and apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual online learning. It comes as the students celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, which is May 10-16.
With the help of the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Agency of Stark County, students from the 12 schools put together a unity video, encouraging each other to seek help if they're in need, and suggesting ways to cope with the stress of missing games, concerts and big high school moments. You can watch the unity video in the player below:
"When a friend says you can get through this, you believe it," says Joe French, of the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Agency. "As an adult, as someone approaching 50-plus, they don't want to hear it from us, they want to hear it from each other."
The halls of each school in the county are also filled with affirmation quotes, sticky notes to display positive messages. Students have also been given mental health week mood-changing pencils, and listened to positive morning announcements. Things the students say, it all means so much.
To learn more about the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Agency of Stark County, click here. It is the only mental health agency in Stark County that focuses on the emotional and behavioral challenges of children from age 0 to 24.