Clovis High students shine light on mental health awareness

CLOVIS, Calif. - Three teens at Clovis High School took it upon themselves to voice their concerns about mental health. The new week-long program is a trial run, that aims to focus on mental health.
The program comes after a recent string of teen suicides in the Clovis community. The teens said they want to let their peers know that they are not alone. 
"This is not something that should be stigmatized," said Maddie Murray a senior at Clovis High School.
Murray is one of the three seniors in her leadership class that came up with a way to bring awareness to mental health issues.
"We really wanted to do something with everything going on around the nation, in our community, in our area, we thought something needed to be done," said Murray.
All week students will learn about the different types of mental health illnesses that they may experience, from anxiety and depression to mental health resources for both parents and students.
"We want students to know that having the strength to go get help should not be negative and you should not be scared to do that, if anything you should be proud that you were able to stand up and say hey I need some help," said Ronnie Lee, a senior at Clovis High.
This is the first time something like this program is highlighting mental wellbeing all week at a Clovis school.
"Our team worked with our students and we were able to get together and plan and this is a 100 percent their idea and their plan and their lessons," said Principal Denver Stairs of Clovis High School.
Principal Stairs said they met with parents last Monday to explain what their students would learn. He said nearly a 100 parents attended and were welcoming to the program.
"One of the things that's concerning as a parent is that sometimes we think that maybe teenagers are being teenagers and there is bigger issues that is going on," said Shawn Murray, a Clovis High Parent. "For us to take a look at it and have the district step forward and take a look at it for us and help us understand a little bit more about our kids, I think it's a good step in the right direction."
Students said that's exactly what they hope to do. The program coinsides with the national campaign "#BreakTheStigma" and students said they hope it helps bring awareness to the community.
"Knowing that we're trying to change that stigma of going to get help, I hope the community is responsive and wants to help change that stigma as well," said Graham Hauss, a senior at Clovis High. 
The program will end it's week with positivity and self love messages.The students said they hope this week shows the district that the program is needed in all schools.
The Clovis Police Department has Supportive Services through the Youth Services Division. They also have a Parent Support Group and Licensed Clinical Social Worker available for consultations. If you need help you can use the 24 hour number for assistance. 
All of these services and more information can be accessed by calling (559) 324-2800. 

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