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Martinsville-Henry County organization takes pictures to uplift youth after two teen deaths in one week

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 9:32 AM EST
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Most students in Martinsville and Henry County are spending a lot of time at home because of the pandemic, and distance learning. Tobie Panos with Drug Free MHC Coalition says isolation and change can lead to mental health struggles.

“Not just our community but the whole nation is struggling with mental health,” said Panos.

Two teenagers have died by suicide within the last week, leaving students and Panos in disbelief.

“It’s hard because I think about all of the kids that I work with and I think about what they might be going through, and I don’t ever want to lose one of them,” said Panos.

Feeling something had to be done, Drug Free MHC is going to different organizations to take pictures with signs of encouragement

“We know it has been hard on them and we know that they need help, we are for them, they are not alone, they don’t have to fight alone,” said Panos.

The signs also highlight resources for people in need.

“We sometimes forget that what it’s like being a kid or an adolescence growing up we forget the stress factors and peer pressure with everything that is going on,” said Jonathan Smith, Piedmont Community Services Mental Health Training Coordinator.

Bringing the community together to help carry the youth through hard times.

They are hoping to keep this going for the rest of the month and are asking for businesses, organizations, and even individuals to participate. Those interested can email Tpanos@piedmontcsb.org .

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