While the rate of adolescents experiencing mental health problems is on the rise, a group of local North Shore teens are busy combatting this alarming trend and the stigma that commonly surrounds mental health as members of The Josselyn Center Junior Board.
Much like the Northfield nonprofit, The Josselyn Center Junior Board has grown leaps and bounds since the board’s founding three years ago. There are presently 40 teens active on the board drawing from high schools across the North Shore. Each month the students meet to raise funds to support teen mental health, understand more about mental health issues and challenges, de-stigmatize mental health, and, of course, have fun with other teens interested in mental issues.
“We have an amazing team of students who work really hard to help their own peers understand mental health and de-stigmatize these issues,” says Maggie Nash, who chairs the junior board and is a New Trier High School graduate.
Indeed, last year the junior board raised more than $13,000 through its 5K Fun Run and several mini-events held throughout the year. Now it’s shifting its attention to fashion design. The junior board is designing three T-shirts for the upcoming charity event “Launch — Driving Fashion Forward” held at Autohaus on Edens on March 8.
“We’re hoping that our T-shirts will become a hot new trend among North Shore teens to promote and de-stigmatize mental health,” says Nash.
The teens will model the T-shirts at the ninth annual fashion show that provides an up-close look at what’s hot for spring. The car showroom is transformed into a dynamic catwalk and fashion hub showcasing looks from Frances Heffernan (Winnetka), Marcus (Winnetka), and Vibrato (Wilmette). The event culminates in a juried emerging designer competition with six finalists from the Chicago Fashion Incubator in a “Project Runway”-style segment.
To be chosen as the charity beneficiary is an honor for The Josselyn Center. As the only Medicaid provider of comprehensive outpatient psychiatric services for 375 square miles, The Josselyn Center serves a wide range of people from 60 communities across the North Shore and northwest suburbs, extending up to the Wisconsin border. The deepening mental health crisis that is sweeping across the country, only makes the nonprofit’s services all the more vital.
“We are so grateful that Autohaus chose The Josselyn Center to benefit from its fashion show this year. Support from our local community means that we can continue to provide high quality mental health services to anyone who needs it, regardless of income,” says Susan Resko, president of The Josselyn Center.
“Launch — Driving Fashion Forward” Spring Fashion Show will be held on March 8, 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Autohaus on Edens, 1600 Frontage Road, Northbrook. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to launchfashionshow.com.