Some students in Berks County hope a deck of cards will be a lifesaver for struggling teens.
The deck, called Anchor Cards, was created after a group of teenagers started talking about mental health.
The cards have just received national recognition.
Just talking about mental health is a win, but they’ve created something tangible that they hope will help other teens who are struggling. They later won an award for it.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for the students of the Reading Youth Volunteer Corps, who also serve on the Berks County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Board. It is made up of 35 students from all over Berks who come together to work on projects.
They decided to focus on mental health and made Anchor Cards.
They are similar to a deck of cards, but smaller, so they fit in your pocket.
There are 52 cards, and each one has a picture and sometimes words that are used to convey a good feeling or emotion.
The hope is that if you’re feeling down, you’ll pull out a card and take a moment to focus on what’s on it.
“I think actually, chemically, some of the cards are supposed to help release dopamine in your brain, so you see we’d have silly things like eat crispy egg rolls which I love and then we’d have adventures, stuff like that,” said. Sindura Sridhar, one of the students who helped create the cards. “They’re not supposed to erase negative emotion, but just temporarily punish you while you try to get the help you need.”
Grounding is a practice that can help with anxiety.
The cards were modeled after a deck of cards that was already made, but the students felt they couldn’t really relate to the images on those cards. So, with the help of Prevent Suicide PA, they redesigned them.
Berks’ new platform was selected from hundreds of other projects across the country and received the National Project of the Year award at a leadership conference in Kansas City last month.
They hope to have the anchor cards in eight schools in Berks County soon, then the plan is for many more after that, across the state and across the country.