COLUMBUS, Ohio – As champions for child and adolescent mental health, Christina and Ryan Day are partnering with the On Our Sleeves™ movement to launch an interactive school-based program to help break stigmas, start important conversations and improve mental health awareness for students in more than 200 middle and high schools in Franklin and surrounding counties.
In recognition of World Mental Health Day, participating schools received “Day Time Break” resource kits inviting students and staff to participate in a variety of activities that incorporate self-care and coping strategies. All information and activities were developed in collaboration with the behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
This initiative is part of the Day family’s continued support for the On Our Sleeves movement, which will observe its first anniversary on Oct. 10, World Mental Health Day. The movement was launched by Nationwide Children’s to support child mental health advocacy, education and research. The Christina and Ryan Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital was established in June, extending the pair’s social mission to one of the most significant issues facing youth today.
“Ryan and I immediately knew we wanted to be part of the On Our Sleeves movement and help make an impact by joining the conversation about children’s mental health,” said Christina Day. “We are so grateful for all the schools who are recognizing the significance of the On Our Sleeves movement and the importance of every child’s well-being.”
“When Christina and I first heard about On Our Sleeves, we knew we had to be involved,” said Ryan Day. “It’s important to us and to our family that we support the movement and help bring much-needed attention to the issue of children’s mental health. It’s time we all start talking about our mental health just as much as our physical health, and that we start those conversations when our children are young.”
Corporate partners are also advocating for the On Our Sleeves movement. On October 1st The Harlem Globetrotters, in collaboration with On Our Sleeves and Nationwide Children’s, launched a national mental health curriculum for third through fifth graders that 700,000 educators across the country can download at no cost here.
In the year since On Our Sleeves was launched, over a million individuals have engaged with the movement’s message, including educational resources for parents, caregivers and teachers on OnOurSleeves.org. The On Our Sleeves e-community provides examples of advocacy actions and community impact for its members.
“We are extremely appreciative of the passion from Christina and Ryan, the Harlem Globetrotters and the thousands of On Our Sleeves advocates for helping to bring childhood mental health to the forefront of conversation.” said Donna Teach, chief marketing and communications officer at Nationwide Children’s. “One year ago we planted the seeds for this movement and we have been moved and deeply inspired by everyone who has shared their personal story and helped to grow On Our Sleeves as a network of support and advocacy for families around the country living with mental illness. We have exciting plans ahead for addressing the stigma associated with this diagnosis and providing education, advocacy, and fundraising for a previously overlooked and vastly underfunded component of pediatric health.”
As part of its commitment to childhood and adolescence mental health, in March 2020, Nationwide Children’s will open the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion thanks to the support of Big Lots and the Big Lots Foundation. In 2016, the Big Lots Foundation gifted $50 million to the building of the Pavilion and it will open in March 2020. The Pavilion will be the largest facility on a pediatric campus devoted to children and adolescent mental health in the country.
Others can join the Day family, Harlem Globetrotters, Big Lots and other advocates by taking a personal advocacy action for mental health and sharing their personal stories on social media channels using the hashtag #OnOurSleeves or at OnOurSleeves.org.
About On Our Sleeves™
Because kids don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves, we don’t know what they might be going through. That’s why Nationwide Children’s Hospital launched On Our Sleeves™ to build a community of support for children living with mental illness through advocacy, education and fundraising for much-needed research. For more information about children’s mental health and to help break the silence and stigma around mental illness, visit OnOurSleeves.org.