Hackley Eighth Grade Health welcomes the JCK Foundation

On Wednesday, March 30, Eighth Grade Health welcomed to campus the JCK Foundation whose mission is to improve mental wellness and resilience amongst youth by working directly with schools and their communities.

The special health education program supported Hackley’s eighth grade emotional health unit focused on anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. 

John Tessitore—founder of the JCK Foundation, Sherif Hassan, and Kevin McMahon shared their distinct stories of struggling with different mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression. Through their stories, students learned about the challenges of feeling alone and the importance of asking for help. Each speaker interspersed different information such as one in five people struggle with their mental health to normalize the struggle that some have with their mental health. The presentations included examples of how to recognize red flags in themselves and their friends, what to do and say to a friend that is struggling, and reminded students that there are numerous people who care for them and are here to help them.  
Mr. Tessitore’s personal story of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the death of his best friend, John Kelly, by suicide shaped why he started the foundation so that no person ever feels they are alone in their struggles and there is always help and hope. The program emphasized to students that they are not alone and that their individual stories are valued.
This program was made possible in part by the Mike and Diane Lowry Endowment for Health and Wellness.