We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2023 Changemaker Awards sponsored by Shift, an organization that coaches teams and organizations on how to use continuous improvement methods to design and get the most impact out of their work. Shift is passionate about supporting youth to use their agency and voice to improve mental health in their schools and communities.
In January, we asked OMM clubs to submit their BIG ideas for how to improve the landscape of teen mental health in their school communities. We received so many inspiring proposals from dozens of students, and ten proposals rose to the top. These winning proposals center equity in their vision and are driven by ideas that align with OMM’s aim to increase students’ protective factors. Each proposal is original and reflects the unique lived experiences and needs of these students’ school communities.
The following ten OMM clubs will receive a $500 award to turn their ideas into action so they can improve the climate of mental health at their schools:
Anacostia High School
Parents Just Don’t Understand – Social connection and having a network of support, especially with one’s family, is a factor in one’s mental health. Anacostia’s campaign will provide bonding activities for students and their parent/guardians to foster positive relationships. In deepening these relationships, students’ well-being will be enhanced in addition to their academic performance in school.
Eastern High School
Better Bathrooms, Better Health – This club will enhance the physical space of school bathrooms to create an environment of care. In addition to maintaining the cleanliness of bathrooms, club leaders will be posting positive messages, mental health tips, and help-seeking resources in school bathrooms. The hope is that this change will help students feel cared for by each other and make their school a safe place for them.
Edison High School
The Edison Minds Matter Movement – this campaign is a three-part series of activities to destigmatize mental health, which includes a parade with other student organizations, a relaxation and self-care raffle, and a collaborative school mural.
Eliot-Hine Middle School
Buddy Bench – Sometimes all we need is someone to listen. This is why a group of 7th graders called the “Middle School Menders” want to provide a safe, listening space for students who want to talk to a peer. At recess, the menders will have a “Buddy Bench” for students to talk to a peer in hopes to reduce a sense of isolation and loneliness.
Harmony Science Academy El Paso
Wellness Room – this club will create a “student wellness center” for middle & high school students to take a break, to practice some self-care, or to talk to someone when they need it.
Kramer Middle School
Be Mindful… Relax, Restore, & Reset – This club’s campaign will provide both students and school staff with a space to relax, unwind and recharge from their busy day. The spaces will be equipped with materials to practice mindfulness and positive coping skills such as coloring, aroma therapy, or even a comfy bean bag chair to sit in.
Magruder High School
Show the Love – this school-wide campaign will provide opportunities and activities for students to show love for themselves, for other students, for staff to overall foster an environment of care and compassion.
Mount Vernon High School
Colors of Calm & Chaos – This campaign will use various forms of art as a medium to empower students to practice coping skills, express themselves, and to destigmatize mental health in their school.
Tahlequah High School
TMM Community Outreach – Club leaders will collaborate with a local high school student organization to support 8th graders living in rural areas with their transition to high school. Through this collaboration, rising high school students take part in assemblies, provide mental health resources and opportunities to get involved with school based organizations.
Union County Early College
Creating a Calming Study Hall – This campaign seeks to redesign the study hall space to create a calm environment where students can focus on their school work. The aim is to provide a space where students feel inspired, motivated, and relaxed when studying.
Thank you to Shift for making these awards possible – and congratulations to the 2023 Changemaker Awards Recipients! We are so thrilled to work alongside you to make your campaigns possible in your schools and communities. Thank you to all OMM clubs, students, school staff, and other mental health advocates out there working toward a day when no teen dies by suicide. Because of you, there is hope. Together we can save lives by shifting the culture towards prioritizing mental health.
To empower more clubs, consider making a donation to OMM. Your generosity will fund students’ BIG ideas. If you’d like to learn more, contact us to learn more about how to change the culture surrounding mental health.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, text MIND to 741741 to be connected to a Crisis Text Line Counselor. Check out this page for more mental health resources from the many organizations and services that are here to help.