98°F
weather icon Clear

Virtual festival takes aim at mental wellness, teen suicide

Hope Means Nevada, a community-based nonprofit focused on eliminating youth suicide in the state, announces Rising Hope, a free statewide virtual festival to raise awareness of how mental wellness saves lives and helps those struggling with mental illness find resources and community.

Rising Hope will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, and is made possible thanks to community sponsors including Anthem Nevada Medicaid, Bank of America, Compassionate Las Vegas, Zappos, Subaru of Las Vegas, Silver Summit, Raiders Foundation, NV Energy and the Problem Gaming Center.

Rising Hope will be hosted by comedian Jeff Civillico and UNLV first-year student Valerie Almirola, with programming designed to engage teens, their parents, families, counselors and anyone else who wants to learn more about how to safeguard their mental health and that of their friends and loved ones.

The schedule will feature a fast-paced mix of frank mental health discussions, performances by regional entertainers and luminaries such as local singer-songwriter ChloA Watson, Alex Aide from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller, as well as teens discussing their concerns and sharing resources. Topics to be addressed include anxiety and depression, bullying, sexual orientation and peer pressure.

The impact of COVID-19 means people of all ages, including teens, might be encountering higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and Nevada’s teen suicide rate is already among the highest in the nation. In 2019, the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention ranked Nevada 11th in the United States for teen suicide, at double the national rate.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Nevada youth ages 11 to 19, and one in five Nevada middle and high school students has considered, planned or committed suicide. Tragically, in just the first month of the current school year, the Clark County School District reported three teen suicides. Last year, no teen suicides were reported during the first month of the school year.

“When everything went online, we lost much of our social interaction,” said Hope Means Nevada Teen Committee Co-chair Caroline Edgeworth. “The only way to connect with friends was through social media or texting them. People feel a lot more isolated. Rising Hope will be full of helpful resources to help teens and their families and friends constructively get through this difficult situation.”

Hope Means Nevada’s 65-member teen committee representing high schools around the state meets monthly to discuss volunteer activities and ways to engage. Co-chaired by Edgeworth, a high school junior, and her sophomore sister Lauren Edgeworth, the teen committee has been involved in developing the content for the Rising Hope virtual festival.

“Although the Rising Hope Festival is focused on teens, the programming is for all ages,” said Hope Means Nevada co-founder Julie Murray. “Mental health problems can affect anyone, and we are here to support each other and save lives. One death is one too many.”

A full schedule of the Rising Hope festival, as well as instruction on how to participate, is available at https://hopemeansnevada.org/rising-hope-festival.

THE LATEST
These local teens spent their summer building beds for kids in need

As part of the Step program, these teenagers worked with one of the valley’s ever-growing nonprofits, Nye County Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP), to construct brand new beds from scratch, each destined to end up in the homes of area children who don’t have a bed to call their own.

Don‘t fall for this latest phone scam

After receiving numerous complaints from area residents regarding threats of incarceration, the Nye County District Attorney’s Office is now warning individuals to ignore phone calls about jury duty.

Back to school: Where to get free supplies & essentials

It’s not always easy for families to afford everything that’s needed, particularly with inflation putting an additional pinch on parents’ pockets.

‘Buy in Nye’ awarded for helping 17 homeowners

The Buy in Nye homeownership program provided nearly $3.9 million in affordable mortgages and $288,000 in down-payment assistance to 17 Nye County families.

Solar recycling project denied

Along with the boom in solar energy generation projects, solar recycling is becoming more prevalent, resulting in companies looking to expand their operations to accommodate the new industry. One company, i-Quest Inc., was hoping to bring its own operations to the Pahrump Valley but Nye County commissioners shot down the idea at the board’s most recent meeting.

GALLERY: Winners from this year’s 4th of July Parade

A special ceremony was held this week to bestow the awards upon those organizations that took home top honors in this year’s Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Pahrump Holiday Task Force in partnership with the Pahrump Disability Outreach Program.

GALLERY: Helen Keller Days raises $2k for local Federation of the Blind Chapter

The 2nd Annual Helen Keller Days took place with members of the Southern Nye County Chapter of the Federation of the Blind coming together with community supporters for an afternoon of fun and excitement, all in the name of fundraising.

 
Biden tests positive for COVID, shortens Vegas trip

President Joe Biden pulled out of a speech before the nation’s largest Latino organization after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Help ‘empty the shelters’ — adopt a pet

Created in 2011, by Cathy Bissell, the Bissell Pet Foundation has made a positive impact in the lives of roughly more than 775,000 dogs and cats across the country.