In this series, you’ll be introduced to various projects, organizations, and businesses all started by people who are 18 years old or younger. We wanted to make it a point to shed a spotlight on the younger crowd who hopes to do their part to both uplift this community and to help others. Click “read more” to check out this week’s story.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Breanna, I’m 18, and I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (severe, re-occurring episode), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
What motivated you to get involved with the mental health community?
I started getting fully involved in the mental health community after I spent two months in a residential facility where I learned that recovery IS possible. I want to show kids and adolescents that there is so much more to life. I want them to know that they do have a future and that life can get better.
What is the name of your project and the mission or goal behind it?
I send shoe box sized packages to those struggling with their mental health. These free packages contain items that may aid in or speed up the recovery process of the receiver: work books, fidgets, journals, self-care items, positive affirmations, and more. I call my project “Mental Health Hope Boxes,” and my goal is to help kids and adolescents recover. I knew it would be hard to directly help those who are struggling, and offering words of support can only do so much. Words can help a lot when you’re hurting, but someone isn’t always available when you’re in need. After talk therapy, material items were the things that helped me the most. I complied a list of items that helped me when I was struggling and picked the top few things that I believed others would benefit from too – those items are what make up “Mental Health Hope Boxes.”
How can other people get involved and where can they find you on social media?
– Check online to see if your community has a local NAMI organization. NAMI offers a number of educational classes, support groups, and community education, all free of charge. See if you can volunteer and help them end the stigma surrounding mental health.
– Ask you principal if you can start a mental health club or group at your school. The one I helped start is called “Healthy Minds,” and it’s a safe place to share your story, educate your peers, and offer support to those who need it. If you’d like to help my project, you can make a donation by clicking the link in my instagram bio, @mhhopeboxes. You can make a cash donation by Venmo or by PayPal (dm me for my PayPal account), or you can purchase an item from my Amazon wishlist – the item(s) will be sent straight to me. All cash donations will be used to supply products for Hope Boxes and to cover the cost of shipping. Stay tuned for other ways you can help my project for free/a small cost.