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SciTech: Serious about Stopping Stigma

SciTech: Serious about Stopping Stigma

SciTech is ready to combat mental and substance use disorder stigma in their school! No stranger to the Stand Together program, this year students returned full steam ahead. With a mix of grade levels and experiences, this group of students spent two Fridays together, refreshing their knowledge of mental and substance use disorders, learning about each other, and planning projects for their school-mates. The team had been meeting before the training to really focus on what they’d like to see change in their school environment. Senior participants are really invested this year and determined to leave a mark in their high school before they move on to future endeavors.

This group has the energy and passion to really connect with their peers on a deeper level. After their first day of training and some review, the group generated ideas in mini-brainstorming sessions. Sparks of inspiration fueled their mission to really bridge the connection between students, teachers, and staff.

The SciTech Stand Together team discussed presenting educational sessions to their staff; they thought this would be more meaningful and impactful than having someone else come in and hold a professional development event. They also wanted a ‘grand-scale’ effort to increase social inclusion in their school; they decided to host an interactive and educational neon ‘glow dance’ for their student body to connect and learn while having a fun time. It’s clear this team is serious about making a change!

Welcome back, SciTech High! We cannot wait to see how your great ideas unfold into wonderful stigma-stopping projects in your school!

Written by Montaja, trainer

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Fox Chapel: Warm Acceptance & Unity

Fox Chapel: Warm Acceptance & Unity

December 13 and January 6 we met with students at Fox Chapel High School to talk about mental illness and stigma. This is the first year Fox Chapel has partiL4C Team discussioncipated in Stand Together. These students were full of great ideas of how to facilitate activities that would invite their peers to come together and foster warm acceptance in their school community. Students had been meeting for several weeks to start thinking about how to Stand Together against stigma and arrived at their trainings full of energy and ready to begin their work to educate, engage, and inform their peers of adults that could help them in their time of need.

Students were excited to share their experiences from Workshop 1 that brought them together with their peers. One idea that kept coming up is the idea that we are all more alike than we are different andTruth Booth Team presentation that everyone deserves to be loved, accepted, and included. Students decided to select the Lemonade for Change and Truth Booth tool-kits for their events¬†this year. The team found some great ways to reinvent and facilitate these projects, create a welcoming atmosphere, and emphasize the Stand Together goals in innovative plans. I can’t wait to see them in action!

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