A Valley News Publication

Kudos to these Granite State kids who are doing what they can to raise awareness about mental illness and remove the stigma that surrounds it.

While she was in middle school, Hannah Guillemette launched her “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign, which she calls an “anti-bullying and kindness” campaign. Now a freshman at Bedford High School, Hannah is continuing to work on spreading her message of being “a voice for those who need one.”

“It got too much,” Hannah, who has her own experiences with bullying, told the Union Leader. “People have to stop being mean to people.”

From the story:

She speaks to student groups, handing out blue IGYB wristbands and sending home a message to parents that encourages them to talk about kindness with their children. And she’s enlisting younger kids at middle and elementary schools to serve as IGYB “ambassadors.”

Also on Monday, another student-led campaign was unveiled in Concord. This one features high school athletes “in an effort to raise awareness of mental health issues in their schools,” according to the Union Leader.

R.E.A.C.T. is a partnership among Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state Department of Education and New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association. It’s an offshoot of the Change Direction initiative spearheaded by former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, who is now senior director of public affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

It’s a simple idea but one Broderick hopes will be effective: Posters featuring smiling student athletes with the message: “You’re never alone when you have the whole team behind you.”

The campaign encourages students who are struggling with emotional or mental health issues to seek help from their peers and caring adults. Students from Nashua High School South are featured on the prototype poster.

Way to go, y’all!

Read the full Union Leader story here.