Ben Davis High School to Combine Basketball, Mental Health Awareness at Upcoming Game

The January 28 matchup between Ben Davis and Carmel High School will provide more than a great night of basketball. It will promote mental health education and awareness. The article below, by Ben Davis High School student and Spotlight reporter Zoe Harris, explains the importance of this initiative:

More than one in three high school students and an estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Educating yourself and those around you about how to be open and supportive contributes to changing the world. Luckily, the upcoming MHA Night will help our community directly with learning how to do this.

The Ben Davis Mental Health Awareness (MHA) Night is scheduled for the January 28 varsity boys basketball game vs. Carmel. The MHA Night will promote mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigmas associated with it. There will be sponsored information tables from mental health organizations, engaging activities, raffles and student testimonials that are all centered around raising awareness for mental health.

The idea for this event was brought up by journalism teacher Tom Hayes. He visited a similar event at Pike High School. Both Hayes and the sponsor of the Pike event have been closely affected by suicide deaths.

Talking about mental health helps improve our communities by making it more acceptable for those suffering from mental illnesses to seek help. In addition, this event will work towards reminding people that mental health awareness is not only about mental illnesses. It’s also about maintaining a positive state of wellbeing.

The upcoming MHA Night will also have a lot of student involvement. Purple Rain will be asking the student section to wear green, which is the color for mental health awareness. BC2M (Bring Change 2 Mind), Ben Davis’ organization dedicated to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health awareness, will be running the tables and helping out with all of the activities. In addition, they will be giving students information about the mental health services that are available to all Ben Davis students.

An event like this has the power to make a difference. According to Shayla Hampton, BC2M sponsor and planner of this event, “People will learn more about mental health and overall how it impacts so much of our daily lives in positive and negative ways. I want people to know that there are supports and services available and that together we can work to erase the stigma that surrounds mental health.”

Attending this event and applying the lessons to your everyday life can make this happen.

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township provides multiple pathways to success for more than 16,000 students, preschool through high school. Located on the west side of Indianapolis, MSD Wayne works in partnership with the Wayne Township community to help every learner achieve excellence. To learn more about MSD Wayne, visit, or follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @WayneTwpSchools and @WayneTwpSuper.