With school back in the fall, you’ll notice one thing different in the kids' classrooms. Some artwork and posters that in recent years were part of a September contest hosted by Shodair Children’s Hospital will not be on the walls...until May.  

Announced last week in a press release, Shodair in Helena will be shifting its 4th annual Scholarship Contest from September to May in honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month. The contest has been a successful classroom awareness program for the last three years and has been held in September to honor National Suicide Prevention Month. 

The Scholarship Helps to Raise Awareness

Craig Aasved, CEO of Shodair Children’s Hospital said,  “While our Suicide Prevention Scholarship Contest has grown in each of its first three years, Shodair felt it was important to move the contest from September to May to allow students to focus on the transitions and challenges that come with a new school year. 

“We are thrilled at the prospect of getting even more students involved this year, as the contest aims to break down the barriers and stigmas surrounding mental health struggles. Shodair strives to create a healthy and hopeful Montana and this initiative helps us further our efforts by putting our youth at the forefront of this conversation to unite in hope.” 

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Shodair invites middle and high school students from across Montana to share their message of hope to others around the state that may be struggling with their mental health. Full details on the contest and the theme will be announced in April 2023. For more information, head to shodair.org. Shodair teams with organizations statewide to offer $10,000 in scholarships.  

To find support for yourself or those who may be at risk for suicide, please visit www.afsp.org/get-help and www.afsp.org/resources.  Call or text 988  or  Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7

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