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Teen Council members recruited for Zero Reasons Why Campaign

Since Zero Reasons Why (#ZRW) is a teen-led campaign to raise awareness about mental-health issues, Teen Ambassadors at area high schools are seeking help from their peers.

The goal is to successfully recruit students to participate in Teen Councils at each high school in Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties.

These four counties represent the service territory for The Center for Counseling & Consultation; The Center is the local administrator for #ZRW.

“Teen Council members are leaders that identify priorities, form strategies and approve initiatives,” said Holly Bowyer, ZRW teen liaison at The Center. “The voice of teenagers is the most important element of #ZRW. Council members and ambassadors are that voice.

“Teen Council members serve on committees to help expand the reach and the impact of this campaign,” Bowyer continued. “They mobilize their peers and work to remove the stigma of mental-health problems in our local communities.”

Bowyer encouraged school administrators and teachers to collaborate with teens and reach out to The Center to organize #ZRW activities. “While teens are the most important participants, adults can help them engage the community to reach the goals set by Teen Councils,” Bowyer noted.

Ambassadors meet as needed to accomplish goals; councils meet monthly. Any student can be part of #ZRW as an ambassador.

The Center also is seeking community partners to help with the #ZRW campaign.

So far, multiple partners include all 11 school superintendents; Behavioral Health Advisory Committee; Juvenile Justice Authority; and Suicide Prevention Task Force of the Central Kansas Partnership.

“We are confident there will be more to come,” Bowyer commented. “Even though teenagers are leading this awareness campaign, they need support from individuals and entities from throughout their communities.”

Julie Kramp, The Center executive director, noted “Teen Councils are the driving force of #ZRW. It is the teens’ shared perspective, vision and voice that make all the difference.

“As our teen liaison, Holly is passionate about her work to help teens find their voice,” Kramp added. “Her energy and enthusiasm are amazing.”

The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a Community Mental Health Center serving Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties. Professionally trained personnel offer: individual and group therapy; marriage and family counseling; community-support services; community-based services; psychosocial rehabilitation; peer support; and medication management. The confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.