DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.,
Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --
Students today face unprecedented mental health struggles. From
bullying to depression and anxiety, one in five students
struggles with mental health. Furthermore, 11% of students in
Broward County, FL, have attempted
suicide one or more times in the last 12 months, compared to the
national average of 9%. That's why national non-profit Be Strong is
dedicated to promoting mental health and resilience through
peer-to-peer support and programming.
This month, Be Strong launched a new campaign in Broward County to identify, recruit, train and
equip one or more Be Strong student representatives in every county
middle school and high school to seek out and support students in
crisis. The teens are trained and equipped with the Be Strong
App providing 24/7 crisis counselors, suicide lifeline, learning
resources and local support including food, housing, escaping
violence, counseling and more. These students are often the bridge
for helping peers in crisis get help.
To help fund the campaign, Be Strong is currently seeking
$155,000+ in donations to support the Broward County Student
Representatives Campaign. The resources will be used to
develop, train and provide ongoing support for student leaders who
can act as resources for their peers who may be struggling with
bullying, hopelessness, anxiety, thoughts of suicide or other
critical mental health issues.
Support is Vital as Teens Navigate Changing
When local business leader Mikey
Dobin learned that his daughter was struggling with
depression at the beginning of the pandemic, he wasn't sure where
to turn — but he knew he needed to get her the right resources and
help. After meeting a Be Strong board member, Dobin was able to
navigate the resources his daughter needed.
"I never imagined my daughter would be going through such a
tough time, and in the beginning, I had no idea she was
struggling," said Dobin. "When I was a kid, mental health was
something we just didn't talk about — but I see that changing with
the next generation through Be Strong's programs."
Stories like Dobin's inspire Be Strong to continue growing and
empowering students to overcome their hardest days. The
organization currently has over 4,000 Student State Representatives
across all 50 states. They continue to recruit new leaders in hopes
of reaching 5,000 Student Representatives by the end of 2021, with
Broward County as a focal point of
the campaign. Be Strong provides schools, teachers and students
with free curriculum focused on the most common mental health
issues and social struggles facing kids and teens today.
Be Strong Sparks Important Conversations for
Our schools need help. "A child in trouble is going to go to
another child," said Denise Reed,
Assistant Principal at Pompano Beach High School and Be Strong
advocate. "They'll go tell someone else that they feel comfortable
with rather than an adult or authority figure — that's the basis of
this whole program. We're putting the resources and tools in the
hands of student representatives, so they know how to help a friend
or classmate when they need it most."
In addition to partnering with school leadership, Be Strong
depends on the support of donors and partners. As CEO of Valley
Forge Fabrics in Fort Lauderdale,
Mikey Dobin is passionate about
bringing awareness and resources to the non-profit.
"Be Strong is a 501(c)(3) charity, so their only interest is in
the interest of kids," Dobin said. "They're in it to help students
learn and get better, and they depend on our community support to
Fellow Ft. Lauderdale business
leader Rob Korhnarens agrees. His company Advanced Roofing, Inc.
provides much-needed support and visibility to Be Strong. "Serving
as a sponsor for Be Strong is incredibly rewarding and it's a great
way to make the most of your investment in a community," Korhnarens
said. "Be Strong can save lives and turn lives around with
training these leaders in schools. It's a low-cost way to make a
real difference in the community. And as a sponsor, it's a chance
to invest in the future leaders of our community."
"With the ratio of staff to students in schools these days, it's
not enough to have well-trained staff," said Dr. Francine Baugh, Principal at Millennium 6-12
Collegiate Academy and Board Member of Be Strong. "Be Strong has a
different perspective on how to help our students by empowering
ambassadors to connect to other students and give them the
resources they need when they're struggling through a tough
"It's very heavy to keep struggles in your heart," said Dobin.
"When kids feel an open and safe place, they're immediately better
off. With Be Strong, we're teaching everyone that opening up isn't
a weakness — it's a sign of strength."
To learn more about Be Strong's free programs, email
firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate to the Be Strong Student
Representative campaign, visit URL or mail a check to Be
Strong at 692b S. Military Trail,
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
SOURCE Be Strong