Our Minds Matter: Empowering Students in the Fight Against Teen Suicide

Our Minds Matter: Empowering Students in the Fight Against Teen Suicide

Rachel Greenberg (she/her) is a licensed social worker in DC who’s passionate about working toward a world where all people can thrive with dignity. She’s also the Program Manager for Our Minds Matter – a student-centric nonprofit organization that is committed to empowering and improving the mental health of teenagers.

Through their student-led mental health clubs in schools nationwide, Our Minds Matter encourages self-care and healthy habits, promotes social connectedness, increases prosocial skills, and increases help-seeking behavior.

To help fund their programming, the Our Minds Matter team launched a merch store on Bonfire that features mental health inspired designs. 100% of proceeds from sales will directly benefit Our Minds Matter and help them continue their efforts to provide teens with the tools and resources they need to take charge of their mental wellness.

Here is Rachel’s story, written in her own words.

“Our Minds Matter is a teen-led movement to change the culture around mental health. We envision a world where no teen dies by suicide.

Teen mental health is a huge passion of mine because the future can’t be brighter than the present if young people of all backgrounds don’t have the skills, communities, and resources they need to not just survive, but thrive.” 

“Our Minds Matter (OMM), formerly the Josh Anderson Foundation (JAF), was founded in 2012 in Vienna, VA with the vision to end teen suicide. The Foundation was named after Josh Anderson, who died by suicide in 2009 at the age of seventeen. 

In June 2020, JAF formally changed its name to Our Minds Matter, the Foundation’s signature program title, to better align its mission and brand in a clear manner. Josh will always be in our hearts as we work diligently to develop and expand the Our Minds Matter organization. 

In addition to a handful of clubs around the country, we have a robust presence in the DC metropolitan area. We partner with DMV area school districts, including Fairfax County, Montgomery County, and DC Public Schools to implement our signature high school program, along with our new middle school program. We are also piloting a community and teen center program in Fairfax County starting this fall to reach even more young people with our inclusive, engaging, and teen-informed programming.

Official Our Minds Matter merch for Mental Health Awareness month.

Our goal is to intentionally expand via these strategic partnerships while continuing to provide custom and personal support to our current clubs. As of spring 2023, we have over 150+ teen-centric clubs in our network, all working to change their school and community culture around mental health.

When we heard from some of our teen leaders that they would love to see merch created by their peers, we knew that Bonfire was the answer! We collected mental health-inspired design submissions from over a dozen OMM teen artists around the country, and after our teen leaders voted for their two favorites, we got them mocked up on t-shirts and crewnecks with Bonfire’s incredibly easy tools and got to selling right away.

We sold this teen-designed merch during Mental Health Awareness Month, and all proceeds went directly back into supporting teen mental health.

As a small nonprofit with a team of less than 10, Bonfire taking care of the sales, packaging, and mailing was a lifesaver. There’s no way we would’ve been able to pull this off otherwise!

Both of our designs were created by teens who are part of the Our Minds Matter clubs in their own schools. The designs encourage folks to take a break, prioritize their mental health, and accept their feelings.”

Students wearing Our Minds Matter merch.

You can learn more about Our Minds Matter by buying merch from their store, visiting their website, and following them on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube

Ready to raise funds for your cause with custom merch?

Launch a free apparel fundraiser on Bonfire – it’s 100% risk-free, easy to set up, and there’s no inventory required.

Written by: Hayden Ireland / Content Specialist
Illustrated by: Madison Summers / Lead Marketing Designer

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