Organization Name: Bryan Foundation/Bryan Medical Center
Mission: To provide excellent care and promote health with a focus on quality, collaboration and compassion.
Vision: To be the premier medical center in the region through collaboration and the relentless pursuit of excellence.
Funded Program Description: Mental Illness Awareness Week has been a nationally recognized week since 1990 when the U.S. Congress established it to be the first full week in October. Activities during this week have far-reaching impacts.
Educational programs and mental health screenings offered during this time can be a catalyst to make changes – for those experiencing mental illness personally or for a loved one. People learn that help is available; support is at hand; they are not alone; and mental illness does not discriminate. Bryan Medical Center and other community partners help those in need find the appropriate direction for support, care, and treatment.
Thanks to The Kim Foundation’s support, Bryan Medical Center has been a community leader for Mental Illness Awareness Week in Lincoln.
The Mental Illness Awareness Week Committee works to plan an event for the community and a workshop for continuing education for professionals. This year the committee decided to focus on the theme of “Social Media and Its Impact on Mental Illness”. Due to the pandemic, in-person activities were on hold. This created an opportunity to think outside the box and look for alternative ways to offer our events. The committee worked with Bryan Medical Center advancement and education departments and put together a wonderful plan that allowed us to carry out our events, expand access across Nebraska, and reach a record number of people.
The 2020 Mental Illness Awareness Week kicked off on October 5th with speaker Collin Kartchner. Collin is a social media advocate, youth advocate, TedX speaker, and dad. He created a popular parody Instagram account simply to make fun of social media, and then used his platform to help spread good in the world. Using social media, he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for hurricane victims, kids fighting cancer, and orphanages in South America. Last year he started a nationwide movement called “Save the Kids” where he fights for students struggling with anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation amplified by social media and phone addiction. His efforts have helped thousands of teenagers save their mental health. In the last year he has spoken over 500 times including appearances at both Nike and Adidas headquarters, and even did a TEDx talk on this issue. We offered this event through an online platform that allowed Collin to present virtually. This also allowed us to offer his presentation to area school teachers to share with their students during class. Over 120 teachers from Lincoln and Southeast Nebraska schools took advantage of this opportunity. During the evening community program, Collin presented a live, virtual program to over 1,200 people and interacted with a question and answer session. Resources were made available through the online platform. The program remains available to view online until Thursday, November 5. To view, go to bryanhealth.org/save-the-kids.
On Friday, October 9th, we offered a CEU workshop for professionals focused on the Impact of Social Media on Mental Health. The program discussed both the positive and negative aspects. We had a great line up of speakers as well as great attendance and interaction throughout the sessions. The same online platform was utilized to keep everyone safe.
Successes of Program or Inspirational Stories: Mental Illness Awareness Week events have been a great way to educate our community, region, and state about mental illness and the resources available. We have seen growth over the years in attendance and overall awareness as a result of these events. This year we did not know what to expect due to the change in venue. We were very pleased with the online platform we used which allowed us to continue our goal of providing a message to individuals and offering resources. We were able to expand the reach of our offerings beyond the Lincoln community and include schools and communities throughout Nebraska. This would not have been possible with our traditional in-person program. The same is true for the workshop which professionals were able to attend from the convenience of their office or home. One of the greatest bonuses this year has been the ability to continue to share the community evening program for 30 days beyond the live event. The event was so well received by those attending they were able to share their enthusiasm and let friends and family know that if they missed the event they could still listen. Therefore, we are still impacting individuals for a month beyond the live event.
Contact Information: You can view Collin Kartchner’s Social Media and Mental Health community presentation until November 5th at bryanhealth.org/save-the-kids.
Final note: Sadly, Collin passed away on October 20. Our sympathies go out to his family. We were fortunate to see first-hand his passion for life and helping others during this recent presentation.