We are pleased to introduce our two new campaigns for the Fall of 2020 -- Vigor for Vitality and TougherTogether. These two separate campaigns have been designed in accordance with each other to combat mental health struggles and unhealthy eating habits that students could face throughout the school year.
Nationally, only 40 percent of students with mental health disorders graduate from high school, compared to the national average of 76 percent. According to a ten-year study conducted by The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), an estimated 11% of high school students have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. These struggles can wreak havoc on both a student's education and social life and prevent them from pursuing higher studies or even earning their high school diploma.
We chose both of these causes with intention. The three of us have either experienced the effects of poor mental health or unhealthy eating habits. Poor mental health can surface in a myriad of ways. Some may suffer from depression, while others may have extreme anxiety, and so on. Similarly, eating disorders can emerge in the forms of bulimia, body dysmorphia, and more.
With the spirit of connecting all Oregon students, we want to ensure that students of all backgrounds are able to have a healthy school life, despite not being able to access some of the essential resources relied upon during a traditional year. While we cannot promise recovery or all of the correct answers, we hope to provide solace to those in need, as peers.
Even if you are not struggling with any of these issues, but would still like to advocate in your community, you can do any of the following:
1. Post on social media with #VigorForVitality or #TougherTogether.
2. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for flyers that you can post in your community.
3. Become a peer-support volunteer.
We urge students who need dire or urgent help to refrain from our peer-support service, and instead use some of the hotlines or websites listed below. Our volunteers are not professionally trained to deal with mental health and eating disorders, and neither our volunteers, nor ConnectOregonStudents, can be held liable for students with these illnesses. Again, as peers, we cannot provide all of the correct answers, but we can provide comfort to those who just need a peer to talk with.
National Eating Disorders Association Hotline (Call/Text): 800-931-2237
National Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255