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Venture Students Raise Awareness of Mental Wellness Resources

Venture Academics is Linn-Mar High School’s project-based learning program. Venture Behavioral Science (Psychology and Sociology focus) students started planning a Mental Wellness Resource event after the class discovered through a review of the most recent city of Marion survey that 60% of residents felt they did not have availability of affordable, quality mental health care.  Venture Behavioral Science Instructor, Chelsea Dill explains, “I tasked my students with conducting a survey of the available resources within our community, and they do exist. There are a plethora of providers and support groups. Our students realized that the issue may be one of awareness, not availability.”

Students had the idea of creating a small event, an open house, that would have local organizations and resources represented. When exploring where an event like this would be held, students thought of the new Marion Public Library, and their large community room. Students worked to secure participation from various counseling centers, student support staff, non-profits, and businesses. “I really enjoy going out and doing things in the community and interacting with real people to put something together that will help folks.” – Blake Northway, Venture Student

Students learned a lot through the process as they were guided by their instructors, Chelsea Dill and Kathleen Kelley. Students learned to write professional emails, how to prepare and have meetings with community partners, approach businesses and nonprofits to share about their event, and break down a large project into small pieces and divide labor. Students also did extensive research on various types of mental illnesses, the stigma surrounding mental health, contributing factors, and preventative measures to combat mental illness.Venture Mental health fair (4)

The event was held on May 2nd and was well attended by a variety of ages. Students kicked off the night with a donation of books to the library that focuses on mental health issues and Mayor AbouAssaly introduced the event. Many sponsors donated items for door prizes (Golden Aura, Earl’s Chill and Grill, Jersey’s Mikes in Marion, Marion Fareway, Staged Dwellings, Morning Story, Monroe + Co, Infinity Medical Clinic, West End, Planet Smoothies, Eduskate Board Shop, Uptown Coffee, Stuff Etc., and Feedwell Kitchen & Bakery).

Venture Mental health fair (1)


When reflecting on the event students said they were excited to see how many people attended. They enjoyed talking with the various booths and learning more about different organizations. Students expressed that it was rewarding to do something good for our community.

“I think that this event had a great impact on the community, all of the organizations who joined are super excited to help people, and simply being aware of the resources available can do great things for someone.”  -Amira Luensman, Venture Student