October 21, 2021

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City partners with #ZeroReasonsWhy to expand teen suicide prevention campaign to additional Kansas City area schools

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As social media use and influence grows among young people and COVID-19…

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As social media use and influence grows among young people and COVID-19 still circulates within our communities and schools, focusing on young children and teenagers’ mental and behavioral health is vital.

Crowded school hallways, smaller social circles and virtual learning fatigue can all contribute to students’ fear, anxiety, stress and depression.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is excited to announce a partnership with the teen-led campaign #ZeroReasonsWhy to make the campaign available to additional schools in the Kansas City metropolitan area through funding and sponsorship.

#ZeroReasonsWhy is a community mobilization and storytelling campaign working to prevent teen suicide by driving conversations that remove the stigma around mental health struggles.

The campaign focuses on three strategic pillars – Remove the Stigma, Build Community Support and Commit to Education.

The Blue KC partnership will give school districts access to all campaign materials including the organization’s storytelling campaign, community mobilization, #ZeroReasonsWhy “Street Team” and a School Activation Kit for implementation in the community. 

“We want to provide tangible solutions to help our school district partners with this ever-growing need,” said Jenny Housley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Blue KC. “We won’t be able to truly address this problem until we can have open, honest and candid conversations about the things we all struggle with but are afraid to talk about.”

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT8TebigFQQ

Anna Hamilton is a #ZeroReasonsWhy teen and student in the Blue Valley School District. Blue Valley USD participates with the #ZeroReasonsWhy campaign via sponsorship from the Johnson County Community Mental Health Center.

“We are so excited to have ZRW spread to even more communities, enabling even more teens to become involved and help remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

The more teens that are involved in the campaign, the more teens can begin to feel comfortable talking about their struggles and those conversations can be normalized and let people know that it’s okay not to be okay,” said Hamilton.

Suicide remains a major health concern. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, youth suicide was already at a record high. It’s the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 and rates have increased every year since 2007.

Campaigns like #ZeroReasonsWhy work. Ninety percent of teens and young adults who are depressed research mental health online according to a survey by Hopelab, a foundation set up to help young people with chronic illnesses, and the Well Being Trust, which is focused on mental, social and spiritual health.

A recent study in California also found that an anti-stigma social media campaign worked to help people understand the symptoms of behavioral health issues and increased awareness of resources to help. The study concluded that the campaign increased the likelihood of getting help by close to 10 percent.

Additional information regarding #ZeroReasonsWhy can be found at https://www.zeroreasonswhy.org

Blue KC is dedicated to cultivating a healthier Kansas City and making mental and behavioral health a priority. Blue KC is a longstanding partner with the Kansas City Royals, recently working together to Shut Out the Stigma around behavioral healthcare and recognizing first responders who are advancing behavioral health conversations in the community.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

About Zero Reasons Why

#ZeroReasonsWhy is a teen-led storytelling and community mobilization campaign to remove the stigma of mental health, increase help-seeking behavior and prevent teen suicide. There are many reasons why a teen might struggle with mental health, but there are zero reasons why they should have to go through it alone.

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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City