The Student News Site of Marion High School

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The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

Senior interviews
Senior interviews
May 29, 2024
Infographic
Infographic
May 29, 2024

Swinging for change

Strike Out the Stigma is a local and national event to raise awareness for mental health.
Strike Out the Stigma is a local and national event to raise awareness for mental health.

     May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide every year. That is one death every 40 seconds. During this month, the community held events that focused on having crucial conversations about choosing healthy life habits, removing negativity, and supporting those around us.

     Strike Out the Stigma is hosted and paid for via sponsorship by Project SAFE, Prairie baseball/softball, Iowa Big, Prospect Meadows, Green Bandana Project, and Cedar Rapids Reds. They increase awareness of treatments and services for members of the community. This program has been around for three years and happens May 3-6. Throughout the week, many activities are hosted and draw out many people.

     Stephen Fish has been a teacher and coach at the high school for over 25 years, with 40 years of coaching experience. He said that Marion Baseball participates in Strike Out the Stigma because “We are big proponents of mindfulness and mental health. As a coaching staff, we wanted to be a part of the event. The added benefit is the ability to play against good teams in a great environment prior to our regular season.” This was Marion’s third year participating in Strike Out The Stigma. There are many benefits, according to Fish. He said, “

The awareness and understanding of mindfulness and mental health issues will help our school and players. By raising general awareness, it will help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health.

” Fish and the staff want their boys to hear the message and become leaders. 

     During that week, fun activities were happening every day. On May 3, World Series champion, Ben Zobrist, was a guest speaker at Coe College. A Cedar Rapids Reds USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) and NIT (National Invitation Tournament) 7U-14U tournament went on all day and the day to follow. On May 4, a mini-tattoo fundraiser was held and the profits were donated back to Strike Out the Stigma. On the last day, May 6, local high school baseball and softball teams played preseason scrimmages. Mindfulness activities were also held for all ages, featuring local resources and agencies that provide information on mental health, suicide awareness and prevention, substance abuse, eating disorders, and overall health. 

     There are ways to combat mental health issues, and Fish said, “Find someone you can talk to. You are not alone. Understand that everyone has mental health issues. Share with them that coping with the stresses of life, having good relationships, feeling and being physically healthy, and reaching your full potential are all impacted by mental health.”

     Strike Out the Stigma is a huge and wonderful event contributing to a great cause. Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide and improving mental health awareness as a whole. Talk about mental health and check on your friends. Transform stigma into understanding. Every life matters.

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Elle Lindaman
Elle Lindaman, Staff Writer

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