A number of schools have reached out for me to speak. The ones out of town often can’t afford to even fly me to the location much less pay any kind of fee. I would love to say yes, especially to the ones where a teen reaches out to me to speak to their school. Then sometimes it’s a school counselor who is already so overworked, they don’t have the manpower or the hours to search for a sponsor.
Because I like to eat and sleep indoors, and these offers are now competing with paid offers, I thought I’d try to see if there was a company who’d at least sponsor two or three schools to start and I’d like ideas and connections from you guys.
I have one school that I just accepted and I told them I would try this strategy. They lost a student by suicide not long ago and it’s a small school. They were devastated. I can’t say who they are but can through private message. This would be a sponsorship of thousands and not hundreds.
The goal is to prevent youth suicide. I speak about the addiction part of that as well as mental illness and grief. It’s gone up 70% between 2006 and 2016 and the number two cause of death on college campuses. I know that talking about suicide prevents it and science supports that.
My niece and I will also be working to complete a downloadable ebook on starting a mental wellness club at a school. I have started this and we’ve been discussing it.
She has been doing a fantastic job at her school and has really made a difference. This could be part of the package and I do know this would be of great interest. But it doesn’t have to be. Usually, after I leave the kids want to do this to support each other. Mental health resources are stretched thin these days and self help group models with a responsible sponsor is a good alternative for making students feel included, heard and connected, all of which are protective factors.
At any rate, any ideas or contacts on companies? I thought I’d start with you all.