LAFAYETTE, Calif. -- One Lafayette-based nonprofit aims to drive major change when it comes to mental health awareness. At every traffic light, BewellCA plans to shine a light on anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation in youth.
BewellCA co-founders, Graham Wiseman, Gail Miller, and Caroline Wiseman, with the help of Graham's sister Tracy Wiseman, developed a mental health awareness license plate to get the discussion going.
"Gail came up with this idea that we really need to get this discussion out in the open," explained Graham. "It's something you pay a little extra for to support mental health."
He added, "One of the requirements of a specialty license plate is that it has a state agency associated with it. And so, we selected the California Department of Education."
If the legislation passes, SB21 (Glazer) would create a Special Interest License Plate for the California Department of Education (CDE), and all of the proceeds from the license plate sales will go to the Department of Education.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst youth and young adults. And California ranks 48th in the nation for providing mental health support to kids aged 3-17 that need it.
"Children are really struggling with mental health, anxiety, and depression, and they don't always have a resource, or somewhere they can go where they have a safe adult that they can talk to," explained Tracy. "And so, we wanted to raise awareness around what's going on and start getting help for them."
"We really have to kind of turn this thing around. Turn around, let our kids know they are enough," said Gail. "They're worth it. We can fight for you."
For more information on how to get involved or donate, visit here.