When the students of Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School were asked to put democracy into action by their history teacher Linda they quickly began the task. Through participation, responsibility, and information they set out to inform young people in their school and community about the stigma associated with mental illness. The students wrote letters to politicians, celebrities, and even the First Family. They shared their work and invited them to the annual NAMIWALK at Jones Beach on May 15th.
Then they began drawing posters which explored and illustrated the stigma the facts about mental illnesses and the stigma. Before long, the entire school learned that 1 out of 4 Americans suffer with a mental illness and often do not seek treatment due to the stigma. The students met on their lunch periods to design a banner and start a fundraising campaign to raise awareness for education. They even participated in a videotape which will be used to educate other students about mental illness.
Their art teacher Anne helped them create a banner with their slogan: Student Voices: Loud and Proud. To date they have raised over $6000.00 which will be used by the National Alliance for Mental Illness to increase awareness and help families and those suffering with these diseases too often overlooked.
On May 15th some of the students and teachers will be walking to represent the voices of so many people suffering with these diseases. They hope to continue to educate and inform- a principle of the democracy in which we live.