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‘Inspire Possibilities’ aims to help teens struggling with mental health

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 7:22 PM CST
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ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAW) - Students are struggling with mental health and the pandemic is only making it worse. The American Psychological Association found 81% of Gen Z teens (ages 13–17) have experienced more intense stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many are unsure how to cope with their dwindling mental health. That’s why a local dance teacher created a community organization to help teens struggling with mental health.

The idea came to Emily Zimmerman, Owner of Expressions Dance Institute, after multiple students confided in her about their mental health. The tipping point came after the recent deaths of two DC Everest students.

“So when they came to me with all these feelings initially it was just overwhelming,” said Zimmerman.

But her heart told her she had to do something.

“I just felt like I just couldn’t stand and listen to them without doing anything,” said Zimmerman.

That’s when she rallied eight board members and created ‘Inspire Possibilities.’ Darcy Miller is one of the board members and is also a parent of three students at DC Everest. She said listening and advocating for students is the main focus of the group.

“We want people that just can listen,” said Zimmerman.

After the tragedies at DC Everest, she said she spoke to a group of students that poured their hearts out to her. She knew from that moment that she wanted to be a part of the group. Above all she wanted students to know she was a trustworthy adult that would listen.

One way she and the group decided to listen to the community was by providing a survey. It was open to parents, teachers and students. So far they have around 60 responses. It is still open. If you’d like to take the three-question survey click here.

“They have lots of great ideas. So we’ve just been kind of taking all of that information, collecting it, organizing it,” said Zimmerman.

They have a lot of ideas already. One is raising funds to hire another counselor in the district. They welcome all that will help improve the mental health of their students. Their goal is to minimize the stigma associated with mental health.

“It’s talked about, but I don’t think it’s talked about enough,” said Darcy Miller, board member.

The group’s first meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7 pm at Expressions Dance Institute in the Cedar Creek Mall. It will be live-streamed on Inspired Possibilities Facebook Page if you can’t make it in person. All are welcome to attend.

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