Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. Each year, during the first week in October, health organizations mobilize for Mental Illness Awareness Week with the overall objective of uplifting awareness of mental health issues and sharing resources and support. After experiencing many of her peers’ battles with mental health, Girl Scout Isha Deol, a senior at Lafayette High School, devoted her Gold Award project to bringing mental health awareness and suicide prevention to the student and staff population at her school district. Doel started Mission Health Awareness (Mission MHA), a student-led initiative that seeks to build upon current mental health resources in place in the Rockwood School District.
The main goal of Mission MHA is to improve mental health training and education for teachers, make current resources that the district provides more accessible, increase awareness of these resources among students and get mental health professionals more involved in schools. Her Gold Award project has been incorporated into all four of the Rockwood School district high schools.
She made a change, by being in the news, school publications, talking to students and staff in the Rockwood School District, and being heard by school staff and administrators. She is proud of what the Mission MHA organization has achieved and knows that there is more to come in the Rockwood and Lafayette community.
She hopes that at least one person who learned about the mental health resources that exist in the school community got the help they needed and decided to keep going and not give up if they were feeling like taking their own life.