The Speak Up Foundation was inspired, created and formed by two families who both suffered devastating personal losses due to mental illness resulting in suicide. It is from these tragic life events that we decided to rise from the fiery ashes of emotional pain and despair and create this foundation dedicated to change.
We are two families who have walked different paths in life now joined in one united fight. We stand together to break the silence and reduce the stigma surrounding all mental illness and suicide. Our passionate hope is that Speak Up will provide quality education and awareness in our community and bridge the communication gaps between community, schools and parents.
We want to encourage and be the steward of open conversations with our children and educate our community about the different danger signs for children who may be “at risk.” We hope that you will join us in our valiant fight and pledge with us to end the societal stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.
Speak Up is doing this in multiple ways:
For the past two years, we have been sending renowned inspirational speaker and suicide survivor, Kevin Hines, to high schools in crisis to motivate teens to get help.
We will also provide funding for teachers, not just counselor's, for suicide awareness training (SOS) since they see the teens every day.
Lastly, and one of the things I think is most powerful, is a teen driven campaign called You be You, put together by Bernstein Rein. It provides messaging, resources and appealing things to teens like videos, shirts, stickers, sidewalk decals etc. focused on being unique, not perfect and not broken, even if you feel that way compared to all the images on social media and TV.
These are just a few options that the Speak Up Foundation is helping the community with the generous donations being raised. We would love to help bring suicide education and awareness to every school.
Depending on the school’s needs, the estimated cost of the program is $1,500 - $2,500 per school. Your donation is helping SPEAK UP and the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition to bring these and other critical resources to our community’s youth.
With funds raised last year, Speak Up will be helping over 10,000 kids this coming school year.
List of schools participating in the teen mental health campaign:
Blue Springs High School
Blue Springs South High School
Valley View High School
Brittany Hill Middle School
Delta Woods Middle School
Moreland Ridge Middle School
Paul Kinder Middle School
Blue Valley West
Blue Valley Northwest
Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
Olathe East High School
Pioneer Trail Middle School
It's amazing the impact we will be able to have in our community but we couldn't have done it without each and every one of our walkers, volunteers, sponsors, and donors. Thank you for your support and dedication to ending the stigma around mental health.
Please join us this year! Help us continue to make a difference in the lives of the community and our youth. If you can't make the walk, please consider making a donation to Speak Up so that we can continue our fight to help another family; another child; another friend from losing someone they love.