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Brandon Church Educates Teens On Mental Health

BRANDON, S.D. - A church in KELOLAND is trying to educate teens about mental health.

The Celebration United Methodist Church in Brandon held a presentation on the warning signs of mental illnesses.

"We know that mental health is one of those things that can make or break a student's time in school. We wanted to make sure that we were given opportunities for kids to hear about and understand mental illness," Pastor Joel Higgins said.

The church partnered with NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, for the presentation.

"We started months ago thinking about a program, and we started having conversations with NAMI and they decided to be a part of that," Higgins said.

Jim Kellar is a NAMI Volunteer trainer. He says mental illnesses are more common than you think.

"In any given year, one out of every five children has a mental health challenge. 50 percent of those are not addressed at all. Primarily the reason is because of what we call stigma, the stigma of being sick," Jim Kellar said.

Pastor Higgins and Kellar hope to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

"Just because a person has a mental health challenge doesn't mean it's permanent, and it doesn't mean that it can't be addressed," Kellar said.

"I hope they will take away some tools to understand mental illness, that they are not alone, and that they can talk through it to go get help," Higgins said.

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