SPENCERVILLE — Spencerville High School Student Council President Trevor Osting was hoping to turn more focus on a topic that he and other Student Council members were concerned with.
It turned out more successful that they could have ever hoped for.
The school held Mental Health Awareness Day on Wednesday. Osting, a senior, is also a volunteer at St. Rita’s Medical Center. He pitched the idea while volunteering to St. Rita’s Medical Center Behavioral Health Institute Director of Operations Susan Hawk.
“We came up with the idea and St. Rita’s just kind of took us under their wings,” Osting said. “It turned out to be a great day.
A total of 13 presentations were made to about 300 students, covering the topics of alcohol, strengths, let’s talk, depression, anxiety, stress, suicide, relationships, human trafficking, community, college, opiates and the next generation. Osting said mental health is an important topic that needs addressed more often.
“There is a stigma with mental health issues, especially lately,” Osting said. “We wanted to combat that.”
Osting said he is affected by St. Rita’s commitment to suicide prevention. He reached out to Hawk to see if they would help coordinate this event.
“As part of Mental Health Month, it’s important that we build awareness around such an important topic within the communities we serve,” Hawk said. “This day that Spencerville High School and Trevor have created is truly a reminder that it takes a community to share this message. Whether you think you may be suffering from a mental health disorder, or if it’s someone you know, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms and when to get help.”
The school and St. Rita’s partnered with other local agencies to present the topics, including Partnership for Violence Free Families, Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio, SAFY, Ohio Northern University and Crime Victim Services. Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties Executive Director Mike Schoenhofer was the keynote speaker.
Osting said the goal of the event was to get people to talk.
“We want people to realize that their life really matters and others care about them,” Osting said. “Mental health has to be taken seriously and hopefully that will happen all year round, not just on one day.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.