High School Warriors Against Suicide

“The truth is, we all struggle. We need you. Together, we rise.” — Arlee Warriors.

Can we prevent suicide? The Arlee Warriors high school basketball team thinks so.

In Montana, which records the highest suicide rate in the United States, the Arlee players dedicated this month’s statewide high school basketball tournament to suicide prevention. To spur their cause, the Warriors made a moving video sending support to people struggling with thoughts of hopelessness and encouraging others to fight for them.

The Warriors of Arlee, where half the town’s population of 600 is Native American,  are pretty amazing at basketball, too. On March 3, Arlee High School won a second straight state title, defeating Manhattan Christian School 66-58.

Arlee Warriors, you inspire us, on and off the court!

[If you or someone you know feels the need to speak with a mental health professional, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.]


“Keying into Emotions”

“I can share it with my family.” — Amelia Erikson on how baking cupcakes brings her happiness and helps her open up about her mental illness.

Michayla Savitt hangs out with Amelia Erikson, a 2016 psychology and neuroscience graduate of Ithaca College with bipolar II disorder, in Episode 8 of The Scoop on Mental Health. In “Keying into Emotions,” Amelia shares stories about the evolution of her mental illness starting in childhood, and how she devised personal ways of coping without medication—including the happiness she feels when baking cupcakes. “The other great thing about that is I can share it with my family,” she explains. “If I’m in a little bit of a happier mood while baking, it’s a really good time to be talking to them and sort of explaining how I have been feeling.”

8pod“Keying into Emotions” [Episode 8] Listen

Amelia Erikson shares stories of her bipolar II disorder and how she copes with the symptoms without the aid of medications.

“Changing the Tape”

“That’s got me through the hardest moments.” — Mental health advocate Dayna Altman on how helping others has helped her deal with her own mental disorders.

In Episode 7 of The Scoop on Mental Health, Michayla travels to Boston to meet Dayna Altman, who’s pursuing a career in public health inspired by the people who helped her through her own mental health challenges. In “Changing the Tape,” Dayna talks about both losing and gaining control with a mental illness, and the multiple advocacy projects that have come out of her experiences. As she tells Michayla: “Planning, helping other people, it’s what drives me, it’s what I love, it’s what I want to do the rest of my life. I think that’s got me through the hardest moments.”

“Changing the Tape” [Episode 7] Listen

Dayna Altman speaks about coping with her mental illness by telling her story openly and encouraging others to tell their truths as well.

“Nobody Talks About This”

“I need to talk about it so other people can talk about it.” — Padriac Lillis on writing and performing in a play about suicide.

Episode 6

Episode 6 of Michayla Savitt’s The Scoop on Mental Health features Brooklyn-based artistic director Padriac Lillis, who discusses Hope You Get To Eleven, his play inspired by a former student’s suicide and his own struggle with depression. In “Nobody Talks About This,” Padriac explores the emotional process of bringing the difficult subject matter to the stage. “I have a story to tell, not because it’s my story, because I need to talk about it so other people can talk about it,” he says.

6pod“Nobody Talks About This”  [Episode 6] Listen

Padriac Lillis wrote and performed a play about his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, prompting conversations about mental illness from audience members and people in his life.

“Check It At the Door”

“You’re never not yourself.” — Actor Brooke Shilling on mental health and the art of performing

In Episode 5 of The Scoop on Mental Health, Michayla sits down with Brooke Shilling, an actress who delves into the mental energy and awareness needed when she’s performing. In “Check it at the Door,” Brooke describes the difficulty of putting real life aside when she has a role to play, but how she holds onto her own experiences in that process. “Transformative acting is amazing, but you’re never not yourself,” Brooke says. “We are the sum of our own experiences even when portraying experiences and people that we’re not.”

 “Check it at the Door” [Episode 5] Listen

Actor Brooke Shilling discusses the effect acting has on mental health—it’s not easy to put aside your life when you’re performing, yet holding onto experiences helps her bring real life to her characters.