Raising Awareness


Taelor Froehlich, Author

It’s okay to not be okay.”

— David Romano

A year and a half ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Through my experiences with  mental health I have learned what a challenge it is to cope with, and how many people are affected by it. As my senior year approached I was trying to decide what to do for my senior project. I wanted to create a lasting impact on my school and community, after taking a psychology and sociology class in high school I learned how rare it was to talk about mental health, and have people be open about their own struggles with mental health.  After brainstorming many different ideas for hours I finally decided on a mental health awareness assembly. Once I knew what I wanted to do I started researching different speakers. Through being a member of BPA (Business Professionals of America), I attended a workshop during our regional competition that Ethan Williamson was presenting on mental health. He talked about Active Minds and what they did to help create awareness in different schools. I contacted my BPA advisor Spencer Christensen and asked him about Active Minds and how I could get in contact with them. He emailed Active Minds and introduced one of their personnel to me. From there I contacted Mr. Brady and set up different dates and times I could have a speaker come to our school. I chose a speaker that I thought would connect to our students the best, I chose David Romano to be the speaker. This is his biography- David was a popular student and a multi-sport athlete who tried to maintain his outward image as fun loving and goofy all while masking his inner struggle with depression. David was presented with a mental health checklist at school which helped shine a light on his symptoms. He began a treatment plan under the care of a professional and found the peace he was searching for. David now travels the United States to talk about his experience dealing with depression and how he overcame it.  After choosing my speaker and setting the date, Active Minds gave me the price of the presentation. I needed to raise $3200, and that didn’t include the cost for his hotel. I started raising money by making a go fund me account, I posted that account on Facebook along with my reason for raising money. My hope was to get enough donations to meet my goal, the reality was that I wasn’t going to make enough just off of donations. For Christmas that year I got a lava bead bracelet that held doTERRA oils in the beads, the oils are supposed to help your mental health. I had an idea to make those and sell them. I made a couple that night and posted on Facebook how much I was selling them for and my reason for making them. Little did I know that so many people would be interested. I had over 50 orders that night. With donations and bracelets I raised enough money and had successful events for both the community and the students of my high school. I am so thankful for this experience and all it has taught me, I hope mental health continues to be a subject that my high school talks about for years to come.