Fans, students support Green Night Out

Barbara Anne Greene

Green Night Out was observed during last Thursday’s basketball games between the Riverside Rebels and the Greybull Buffs.
Green is the color for Mental Health Awareness. The event was sponsored by Big Horn County Prevention Alliance . Krystal Crosby of the coalition handed out “cheer paddles.” One side had either the Rebel or Buff logo and school name; the other had mental health facts. Many attendees wore green to show support as well.
Crosby appreciated the support of Big Horn County School District No. 4’s superintendent, Jory Thompson, and Riverside MS/HS Principal Matt Jensen.  
Lisa Kunkel from Big Horn County Citizens for Economic Development handed out yellow feathers and set up a table. The theme was “There is no health without mental health.”
Crosby said “Even with our resources and programs in place in the schools and county, without the support and efforts of the community to help shift the stigma of mental health concerns, and normalize prioritizing one’s mental health, students and youth won’t act on it. It is up to individuals in the way they speak about those struggling that will help push the dial in the direction we need it to go to protect our next generation.”
Prevention specialist Travis Sylvester noted, “Progress is being made in having these types of events/conversations at marquee public events. Pretty awesome to see so many people, especially kids holding the signs. Slowly but surely, we’re bringing to light the importance of mental health and the need to actively engage and support it.”
Sylvester added, “Would also like to heap the praise on Krystal’s program plus the schools for taking this on. It takes commitment from the top down to green light a project like this. While we often hear about the bad news, it’s refreshing to see people take a prevention-oriented approach”
During halftime of the boys’ game, Crosby put a large tic-tac-toe board at center court. Prior to the event, she handed out cards in the crowds with answers to three questions she was going to ask.
Lady Buff Ashtyn Chapman and Lady Rebel Johnna Clifford volunteered to help with the game. Crosby would ask a question. The person in the crowd with the answer would stand up. The girls would then run to those people and bring the answer back to Crosby to get a ring to put on the board. The first to get three rings in a row was declared the winner.
The questions and answers were as follows:
Q:  What is the number that students, parents and community members call in the event of mental health concern or crisis? A: 988
Q:  What percent of youth struggle with a mental health concern in the course of a year? A: 20%
Q: Mental health is _____ and something we can all work to improve with sleep, proper nutrition and building supportive relationships. A: Normal.