Saskatchewan

Sask. high school students create company to help people access mental health support

Five high school students from Regina are selling hoodies and giving the funds to a non-profit organization.

5 high school students created a company called Turning Point

Logan Curle, left, Skyler Briere were part of the group that created Turning Point. (Submitted by Skyler Briere)

A group of high school students from Regina have created a company that donates some of its profits to support mental health awareness and suicide prevention. 

"Most suicide survivors describe their experience as almost a turning point in their life," said Logan Curle, one of the founders of Turning Point. 

"Our hope is that people won't have to go through the worst to realize how valuable their life really is." 

The students created Turning Point as part of their entrepreneur class at Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School. 

Now they are selling hoodies to raise money for Johnny Z Healthy Minds Fund, a non-profit organization that works to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention. 

Skyler Briere, another of the company's creators, said the group saw how people have been struggling with mental health throughout the pandemic. 

"Especially with COVID, everyone has been going through mental health issues," she said. 

Briere said the pandemic was difficult for her. She couldn't see her friends, and having classes online made it harder for her to do school work. It left her feeling not as motivated. 

Curle said the pandemic has been difficult for him as well and that a member of their football team committed suicide because they were struggling with mental heath issues. 

He said he hopes that the company will create a positive environment and help the community. 

The high school students are selling hoodies to raise funds for the Johnny Z Healthy Minds Fund. (submitted by Skyler Briere)

The hoodies are sold for $45 each, with 20 per cent of the company's total profit donated to the Johnny Z Healthy Minds Fund. The students chose to donate to that non-profit because one of their parents knew Johnny, the fund's namesake. 

So far the company has raised $168 for the fund so far with their sales. With additional donations coming in, Briere said they are expected to have raised at least $1,668 by Dec. 18. 

Response to the company has been positive. Briere said they launched on Facebook and Instagram five days ago and orders have been going "crazy." 

"It feels really good, I think what made it better is that none of us expected it at all," she said. 

She said the group Paramedics with Hearts reached out and plans to do a bottle drive with all funds raised goind to the Johnny Z Healthy Minds Fund in honour of the high school students.  

"I think this tells me that more and more people are realizing how important mental health is, and how much awareness we need to bring to it," she said.

With files from The Morning Edition

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