A Project for Better Journalism chapter
News, Showcase

Littleton’s Isabelle Smith Speaks up about Mental Health

On the evening of April 13th, junior Isabelle Smith spoke about her suicide survival story at the Spirit dinner/fundraiser.

Many adults came from all around Colorado to the Old Wildlife Experience Center, where they are able to donate to the district’s mental health support programs such as Sources of Strength.

The only student invited to tell about her story was Isabelle Smith, who didn’t know she would be the only one sharing until she arrived at the event.

“I went up there and I shared my story, I was like ‘this is me, I struggled with mental health and I’m a suicide ideation survivor,’” said Smith.

Through Isabelle’s speech, the adults in the room were highly encouraged to donate their money for multiple uses for schools who want to support their students.

Money could enable schools to hire mental health professionals, provide greater funding for programs such as Sources of Strength and creating more awareness campaigns.

“This could all help mental wellness, learning how to cope and how to be comfortable with yourself to help reduce the stigma,” said Smith.

With this extra funding, more adults could be working to help students heal from difficult situations.

“The counselors we have are already amazing, so not just hiring more counselors but hiring someone who would teach a class about mental health and mental wellness. Making it almost like that health class and how it’s not just about physical health anymore but it’s also about emotional health,” said Smith.

The platform Isabelle Smith had allowed her to share her story and continue to help adults and others see that mental health is an issue to be talked about and, ultimately, healed if everyone takes a step to do so.