Help is Here will work with schools in our community to support youth mental health.
“Our experience at St. Mary’s was great. My son was very happy with his care, which is saying a lot considering he’s an RRT. He was thankful for the care he received.”
Help is Here Campaign Boosts Suicide Prevention
Providence St. Mary Medical Center is launching a new mental health initiative for High Desert youth with the express goal of preventing suicides in the region.
Providence St. Mary Medical Center Foundation recently secured a grant that will fund the program through December 2021. Titled Help is Here, it aims to connect youth to local resources and much-needed mental health services in the High Desert.
“At Providence St. Mary, we deeply care about the well-being of our youth in the High Desert and want to do everything possible to support their growth and future opportunities,” said John Kozyra, chief philanthropy officer. “The campaign is one way we
are reaching out to support the health and wellness of our community.”
The campaign, launched in March, has a major goal — breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness, particularly suicidal ideation.
“By understanding what students and families are requesting help for, we can customize the help and engage students in their own voice,” said Kevin Mahany, director of community health investment for Providence St. Mary.
National data indicates that suicide remains the second leading cause of death for young teens in the U.S. Recent reports show that rates of anxiety and depression are on the rise among young ones amidst an ongoing pandemic and related shutdowns.
Mental health care for children in San Bernardino County has grown, but a sizable gap remains between those receiving help and those who still need it. This gap can often be one of the largest barriers in youth receiving the assistance they need.
Help is Here will work with community programs aimed at closing that gap. Providence has also developed its own free school program, Work to be Well, that is student-led.
“We are seeing local schools organize their students into advocates,” Mahany said. “It’s exciting to have students flex their voice as to what they want and need in today’s world.”
Help is Here will also focus on shifting the perception around mental health care. A key message is ensuring youth know that talking about mental illness, even suicide, is okay and that it’s fine to seek help if needed.
“We want students to help drive how mental health is affecting them in today’s world,” Mahany said.
By working with community leaders and partners, Help is Here will ensure all High Desert youth will know help is closer than they think.
To support our mental health initiatives, please visit supportstmaryfoundation.org/donate.
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