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Sounders FC, RAVE Foundation and Providence Present "We Can be Well," Youth Mental Health Event on Wednesday, May 29 Featuring U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

May 23, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Seattle Sounders FC News Release

RENTON, WASH. - This Wednesday, May 29, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. PT, Sounders FC, RAVE Foundation and Providence proudly present "We Can Be Well," a special event focused on youth mental health and catered to local middle and high schools, featuring U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and a panel of experts representing the medical and Seattle sports communities.

One hundred fifty students representing high schools and middle schools from Renton School District are set to participate on Wednesday, as the day begins with a 30-minute panel discussion hosted by former Sounder and current club brand ambassador Steve Zakuani. Zakuani is joined by CEO of Providence's Well Being Trust Dr. Arpan Waghray, Director of Providence's Work2BeWell school-based program Jawanza Hadley, Seattle Reign FC General Manager Lesle Gallimore, former Seahawk and community leader Doug Baldwin and Sounders FC Academy Head Athletic Trainer Alicia Williams for a discussion about normalizing the conversation around mental health, reducing the stigma that surrounds it and talking through resources and methods for students to better understand and care for their own mental health. Students also have the opportunity to ask panelists questions, ensuring the event remains centered on what most interests the young attendees.

Following the panel discussion, Dr. Murthy takes the stage with former Sounder Lamar Neagle for a meaningful one-on-one conversation. As U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy serves as the Nation's Doctor; his office is focused on the most pressing public health issues of the time, with one of its current priorities being youth mental health.

To conclude the event, students will be welcomed down to field level where they can meet the day's speakers, take photos, receive autographs or ask more personal questions. All students attending the event will also receive a soccer ball courtesy of Sounders FC and RAVE Foundation.

Wednesday's We Can Be Well event represents a continuation of the commitment of Sounders FC and Providence to serving the community through intentional programming developed to address the mental wellbeing of students in the Renton School District, where both entities are headquartered. Youth mental health has been a concentrated area of focus between the two organizations since originally partnering in 2023.

That programming got off to a successful start in its first year, as Sounders FC and Providence were able to implement mental health awareness and education throughout Renton-area schools, including over five Work2BeWell curriculum training sessions for over 250 teachers, seven mental wellness-themed assemblies to support youth of various ages and the institution of three small support groups and one student-led mental health club.

Funded by Providence's Well Being Trust, virtual therapy services were also launched throughout the Renton School District, providing access to more than 15,000 students. Since the launch of this service in August 2023, more than 1,200 virtual therapy sessions have been provided to those most in need.

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