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HOSA Making a Change

Jennifer Cruz, Web Master & Staff Writer

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Klein Health Occupations Students of America is dedicated to changing many major problems. Most recently, they have started a petition with the goal of sending it to the White House to be considered by Congress.

The petition was an idea by HOSA senior students who are a part of the Harris County Junior Medical Reserve Corps, including Temoore Raja, Kathy Nguyen, Emily Dunbar, Michael Holzem, Bailee Atencio, and Bryan Wessinger.

The issue they are trying to address is that “Mental health, not just in teenagers, but in general is a “taboo” subject in our country. Unfortunately, people do not seek help for mental health issues because they are embarrassed or they are told just to “suck it up”. The reality is that mental health issues are actual medical conditions that can and need to be diagnosed and treated. But all too often, the person never gets help and sometimes harm themselves or others,” said HOSA advisor Kristen Haggard.

The goal for the change is “To help teenagers who are struggling with mental health issues and are scared to ask for help and ultimately to decrease the prevalence of teen suicide.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013, 17 percent of students in grade 9-12 in the United States seriously contemplated suicide and we believe these statistics may even be lower than the actual numbers. This is of great concern to my students as many of them have had friends suffering from depression during their four years in high school and they saw that many teenagers do not know where to go for help,” Haggard said.

To these students this petition is extremely important to change the norm, “What we really want to get out of the petition is to hopefully change the way our country and the world look at mental illnesses, and we want it to be assessed at an earlier age so that anyone who is diagnosed can get the help they need, especially before it gets to a dangerous level,” said senior Michael Holzem.

In order to achieve their goal, they need everyone’s help. Anyone can go to https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/take-action-improve-screening-mental-illness-teens to sign now! They need 100,000 signatures for them to be considered by Congress before the end of March 26, 2017. You can share the link with others, every signature counts!

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HOSA Making a Change