Local teens create fund to help those suffering with mental health issues during the pandemic

In This Together

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of local teenagers is passionate about reversing climate change and had big plans for Earth Day.

“We had been planning Earth Day actions for months. We were going to do really cool sit-ins and protests but then coronavirus happened,” said Jade Tyra, co-lead for the Oklahoma Chapter of Youth Climate Strike Oklahoma group.

So Youth Climate Strike Oklahoma is changing its focus to mental health.

“We just felt mental health funding was not a priority to fund and so we decided to make that our priority,” Tyra said.

They just launched “Healing Our Heads and Hearts Mutual Aid Fund and Resource Center.”

“Entertainment resources for families and kids. We have some eco-friendly fun ideas like free eco-friendly tie dying and stuff like that as well as self-care tips, hotlines,” Doran Walters, co-lead for the Oklahoma Chapter of Youth Climate Strike Oklahoma group, said.

There’s also a GoFundMe page where people make donations that will go back to those who are applying for mental health financial support.

“That could be medication, internet, sessions with a therapist, anything,” Walter said.

With about a dozen teens involved, some are using time that would have gone to commencement and prom to fight for a worthy cause.

“I’m not really stressed out about not going to graduation. I think people are going through a really, really hard time,” Tyra said.

“We’re advocates and activists, so our job, what we do is we advocate and fight for a better world and right now, the best thing we can do is lift up our community,” Walters said.

The organizers stress that all of the money raised through GoFundMe will go directly toward the aid.

Any extra money they receive will go back to mental health organizations.

To apply for funding, visit their website.

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