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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools has become the first school district in the nation to launch a new anti-suicide campaign created by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation.
CPS put together a video explaining the “Please Stay” campaign, aimed at 7th through 12th grade students, encouraging them to ask for help if they need it.
“This campaign reminds students of the importance of prioritizing their mental health and of the many supports that are available to them,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “I am so proud of all our students who take this pledge and who reach out for support if needed.”
The campaign features interactive and accessible initiatives designed to educate students about mental health.
CPS staff, including school counselors, will be talking about the campaign in classes over the next few weeks, informing students about available mental health resources, advising them of self-care habits, and showing them the “Please Stay” video.
Mental health was already an issue for many teens before the COVID-19 pandemic, but new data from the CDC says the crisis has grown.
The data shows more than one third of high school students (37.1%) experienced poor mental health most of the time or always during the pandemic, and more than 31% did so during the past 30 days. In addition, 44% reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless in the past year.
The launch of “Please Stay” comes during Mental Health Awareness Month.