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Walking for mental health awareness

Students at Central Mountain High School walked around campus in support of mental health awareness.

MILL HALL, Pa. — It takes 16 minutes to walk around Central Mountain High School in Clinton County. On Wednesday, students and teachers made the 16-minute journey around the school's perimeter in support of mental health awareness.

"We wanted to bring the importance of mental health to teenagers our age," said Ashton Peters.

Ashton Peters and Lela Vanartsdalen organized the school-wide walk for their senior project. Both students say it is more than just a class assignment.

"I lost my best friend Cimarron, who was 12 years old, to suicide about four years ago. So, to me, it has a real close-to-home feeling to it," added Peters.

"My friend passed away from suicide in 2017, and I just didn't know how to cope with it before," said Vanartsdalen.

Signs of encouragement lined the walkways. Student organizers hope the walk encourages fellow students to speak up or seek help if they are dealing with issues regarding their mental health.

"Healing takes courage. So, it is OK to talk about mental health and what you are going through personally," added Vanarstdalen.

"I hope they learn that it is OK to not be OK, and it is important for them to understand that suicide is one of the top leading causes of death in the United States," said Peters.

Peters will host another mental health awareness and suicide prevention walk on July 24 at Riverview Park in Lock Haven. The walk will begin at 10 a.m., and all are welcome to attend.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline800-273-8255—offers free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7/365. You don't have to be suicidal to call.

Posted by Keystone Central School District on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

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