Students at Caesar Rodney High School recently donated $2,000 to the Bayhealth Wellness Center Anchor Project at CRHS.

The Anchor Project was created in 2017 by counselors at the Wellness Center with a goal of preventing suicides and connecting students with resources when they feel alone. Mental Health Counselor Christina Eilers said the program encourages students to pay it forward by showing others they’re an anchor in times of need. Through the project, the Wellness Center has anchors attached to “beAnchored” cards. Students can wear the anchors in support of the cause or pass it on to someone who needs hope. The grant-funded program was successful in its first two school years, but eventually ran out of funding — until Works of Heart.

Works of Heart is a student choreography showcase held once a year to benefit a good cause. Dover High School Junior Renée Friend started the benefit four years ago for a class project and hosts a showcase once a year benefiting a cause; suicide prevention and the Anchor Project was this year’s recipient. Friend’s father, Larry, is the assistant principal at CRHS.

Through the benefit, Works of Heart was able to donate $2,000 to the Bayhealth Wellness Center at CRHS to not only benefit the Anchor Project there, but to help kick start the program at the Wellness Centers at Woodbridge, Smyrna and Milford High Schools. The donation will also help continue the program at the Wellness Center at Dover High School; Counselor Christina Lanouette, started the program after Eilers made a presentation during Suicide Prevention Month.

Mental health and suicide prevention tend to be less visible than other children’s health concerns, Eilers said, making it vital students know resources are available for if, and when, they are feeling down.

Bayhealth’s Wellness Centers provide Delaware’s teenagers with health services in cooperation with each teen’s family physician. Located in area schools, the centers work to meet the needs of today’s youth. This includes their health education and nutritional, mental and emotional needs.

For more visit bayhealth.org/wellness-centers.