“You’re worth it.”
This is the message that Fort Worth fitness studios, The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation and Roxo Agency are rallying around in support of physical and emotional wellness.
From April 15 through 17, these organizations are partnering to raise awareness about mental health in our community. There are nine Fort Worth fitness classes working with the two nonprofits to raise money for The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation. Fitness class fees range between $15 and $25, with multiple studios collecting additional donations throughout the week.
The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation’s core mission is to eradicate suicide by creating awareness through education, funding depression research, erasing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, and providing hope to those who are struggling in silence.
“As a result of COVID-19, the associated mental stressors, and challenges of day-to-day life living with the virus, suicide prevention is needed in our community more now than ever,” said Christina Judge, executive director for The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation.
“As an agency of college students, we have struggled, and we have seen our peers struggle,” said Ashley German, incoming president of Roxo Agency, TCU’s student-run advertising and public relations agency. “We are committed to moving the needle toward better mental health, starting with fundraising for The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation. Here, we can act as a positive force and ally for the mental health of our peers and the greater Fort Worth community.”
The last year has not been easy on anyone’s mental health. A tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that beginning July 2020 onward many adults reported negative impacts on their mental health and overall wellness. Some of the challenges were due to the worry and stress of COVID-19, including difficulty sleeping, eating, increases in alcohol consumption or substance abuse, and worsening chronic conditions.
Taking a closer look at Fort Worth, there are worrisome statistics for children, teens and young adults according to The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation. The CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted in Fort Worth Independent School District’s high schools as part of the United States’ largest public health surveillance system of youth behaviors, revealed grim numbers. Nearly 15 percent of Fort Worth ISD high school students seriously considered attempting suicide and 33 percent felt sad or hopeless. Almost 13 percent made a plan about how they would attempt suicide and 11 percent actually attempted it.
The city of Fort Worth’s mission is to work together to build a strong community. That is exactly why The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, Roxo Agency, F45 West 7th, Smart Barre Camp Bowie, BODYBAR Tanglewood, BODYBAR West 7th, Cyclebar Waterside, Pure Barre Fort Worth, and Julia Blair, certified yoga instructor, are coming together — because they have a unified vision for a community that empowers mental awareness and health.
“The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation alone cannot prevent suicide,” said Judge. “We must work collectively to change the culture to one that fosters intentional outreach, while adding layers of continuous suicide prevention by educating children, teens, parents, teachers, first responders, healthcare workers, professionals, and our community at large through conversation, trainings, education, and resource and referrals.”
Roxo, The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, and participating fitness studios hope that this event encourages community members to check in on their friends, family members and themselves.
“As community members continue to sign up, it is a testament to the character of this city,” shared German. “People who chose to be a part of something greater than themselves.”