Mental health experts say that one in four students between middle and high school struggle with serious mental issues.
The “STOP STIGMA” mental health fair was hosted at Washington County Technical High School on Wednesday night. Representatives from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Mental Health Center of Western Maryland and the Maryland School Safety Hotline provided parents and students with the resources to deal with these staggering statistics.
“Parents can educate themselves, learn the resources that are available in the community and it’s [know that it’s] okay to ask for help. Some people don’t want to ask for help for the fear of the unknown. There are numerous resources in the community for parents and they just need to ask,” said Laura White, a mental health therapist with Brookelane.
White also says that there are therapists in every middle and high school in the county. A new grant is being worked on to extend these mental health services to elementary schools.
The event was organized by Gabrielle Ryder of Smithsburg High School, who says it’s been a year to the date since her first mental health awareness event.