Psychology

SRSLY partners with Chelsea Music Department for Mental Health Awareness at the annual holiday concert

On December 7 and 8, Chelsea Music Department and SRSLY Chelsea will come together to raise awareness for mental health at the school district’s annual holiday concert. It is the first time that the two groups have collaborated on this kind of event.

“Mental health has been an important topic in society for a number of years. When we heard about the project, we knew we wanted to bring it to Chelsea and our students,” said Katy Steklac, band director at Beach Middle School. “We loved the composer’s efforts to make high-level composition accessible to young musicians, and his recognition of how art can help students express their mental health experiences.”

The Unbroken Project, a collection of music by Randall Standridge, reflects his own experiences with anxiety and depression. The high school wind symphony will perform “(Not) Alone” on December 7, while the 8th grade band will perform “Fragile” the following night. The goal of this concert series is to destigmatize the conversation around mental health, spread awareness, share resources, and give the students a way to express themselves and their experiences through art.

“We are excited to partner with SRSLY to further increase our impact as we bring these performances to life,” said Chelsea High School Music Director Alison Roberts.

The high school wind symphony designed custom “Happy Initiative” shirts to wear for their performance. The initiative is a mental health apparel campaign by SRSLY designed to create a positive, open conversation about teens’ experiences with mental health, whether it be their own or someone they love.

The shirts read “Progress Not Perfection,” a student-voted phrase that counters the terrifying pressure of perfection in high school. It elevates the idea that every day is an opportunity to move forward, and that progress, no matter how small, is progress.

“We initially brainstormed a set of custom mental health shirts for the students, but it quickly evolved into much more than that,” says Kate Yocum, SRSLY Director. “We have a resource table, registration for free mental health training, giveaways, and staff who are ready to answer any questions.”

The high school band designed a set of custom T-shirts with the message “SRSLY, Mental Health Matters” unique to them and their performance goal of spreading awareness.

“Many people who struggle with mental health feel like they are alone in their struggle. It’s important that everyone knows how important they are and that they are never alone,” said Chelsea High School senior Makenna Van Assche.

Chelsea’s music department hopes people will consider making a donation to support young people’s mental health this holiday season.

To learn more about mental health and the work SRSLY does, visit srsly.org or find us on Facebook @srslychelsea. Go to https://giving.stjoeshealth.org/srsly to donate
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