Wrestling team & SPEAK club work together for mental health awareness


Mental health is a topic that can be hard to talk about. However the BHS boys and girls wrestling team and the BHS SPEAK club worked together to take down the stigma. 

Together they planned an event to help spread awareness for mental health. 

“Seeing it all come together and everyone that showed up and supported was amazing to see,” sophomore Malin Harris said. 

The event was known as “Stronger as One: Take Down the Stigma.” It was weeklong and consisted of school-wide events focused on mental health awareness.

“I loved that I was both a part of the wrestling team and the SPEAK club because I was able to help plan the event and bring it all together and wrestle at the event,” junior Nora Prather said. 

The event served as a positive way for the community to heal from the recent tragedies that have happened in our school. 

“It was a positive way to one, remember the situations, but two, try to make some positive steps forward for taking mental health seriously and taking care of people,” wrestling coach Kit Harris said. 

Events included distributing ribbons, giving mental health tips to other students, giving encouraging morning announcements, selling T-shirts, a silent auction with donated baskets, and dual wrestling meets for boys and girls wrestling. 

The Stronger as One: Take Down the Stigma wrestling dual was hosted in the BJHS home gym in February. The dual featured the girls team taking on Tonganoxie, and the boys team against Anderson County and Perry-Lecompton.

The Bulldogs won two of the three duals, but it’s not the results that mattered. 

“I was real proud that we hosted this event, it was a lot more than a wrestling event,” wrestling coach Kit Harris said. “The final score of the duals did not matter, everyone won tonight because we put focus on an important topic that affects us all. Kids are awesome, they did all of this. They wanted to do this special night.” 

Many BHS wrestlers enjoyed the dual and felt honored to be a part of the first mental health dual at BHS. 

“It’s cool to help raise awareness, it’s important to me because I know if I needed to talk about my mental health I would want to, and for my friends I would want them to be able to talk to me and feel safe doing so” BHS Freshman Gracie Hildebrand said. 

From these events the students raised $1,700 to donate to the Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters. 

Students are already thinking ahead to next year and hoping for another Mental Health dual. 

“​​I felt honored to be part of Baldwin High School’s very first Mental Health Awareness Dual. I hope to see this dual become an annual event,” junior Harper Schoendaller said.