At the end of the 2022/2023 school year, three students at B-EHS embarked on a mission to create a new club where mental health awareness and diminishing youth substance use among their peers were the main focus. At the start of the 2023/2024 school year, that idea came to fruition, and it is now a club of nine members strong (and growing) with the mission of creating substance-free, open-minded, safe spaces open to everyone to tackle mental health and substance use among our peers. BHCC Program Coordinator Käaren Flint and B-EHS behavioral health counselor Jeannie Dodd meet with students after school each week on Thursdays to support them and work through the daily challenges and concerns they face. This new club is now known as B. E. Well!
B.E. Well students will be envisioning and implementing community projects throughout the year(s) that improve the lives of their peers and reduce the rates of substance use among peers and the Burlington community. Four students will travel to Washington, D.C., in January 2024 to learn about growing their club and meeting other youth working on these crucial concerns. They will also have the opportunity to meet with their local legislative representatives at the Capital and share their concerns about their peers and what is happening in our community from the youth perspective.
Collaborating with our youth and supporting them is at the heart of BHCC. In collaboration, BHCC and Leadership Skagit created and continue to provide funds to the “Community Closet” project at the high school. This project was started by Leadership Skagit and is continued with the input of B.E. Well students sharing the clothing needs of students with the Community Closet sub-committee. This year, the BHCC sub-committee will update the closet to ensure that B-EHS students have what they need to feel like their best selves.
To keep this project going, BHCC seeks partnerships with retailers willing to participate in a voucher program to continue the work and meet the need. If a student has a specific request, they can be given a voucher to the retail partner to get what they need. If you, as an adult, remember being a teen, you know that clothing is a form of self-expression and thus essential. If you want to help support this project and our students, email Käaren at [email protected].
B.E. Well is also working on changing the face of social media for their peers and has created Instagram (@be.well.tigers), TikTok, YouTube, and Spotify channels. Studies have shown that social media can have many adverse effects AND is a significant form of communication for youth. So, B.E. Well wants to influence how it is used and perceived.
Do you have a teen student in the Burlington area? Share B.E. Well with them!