Abercrombie & Fitch have announced its partnership with Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue and raising awareness, understanding and empathy about mental health. Co-founded by award-winning actor and activist, Glenn Close, whose family has been affected by mental health issues,
BC2M is focused on ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.
The retailer’s initial funding will support implementing student-led high school clubs in 20 Greater Columbus area schools by fall 2020. Bring Change to Mind’s High School Program gives teens a platform to share their voices and raise awareness around mental health. Its aim is to erase the stigma around mental illness by increasing awareness and education, fostering student empowerment, building mentoring opportunities, and encouraging youth to challenge the misconceptions that so commonly surround mental health conditions.
Additionally, A&F Co. will host BC2M’s First Columbus Leadership Meet Up in early 2020, where at least 40 local student leaders will attend a day of discussion and training as they start to launch the Bring Change to Mind program in its schools.
“Ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is important, now more than ever before. Through various organizations we support at the local and national level, we understand the severity of mental health issues facing our communities today, and we are dedicated to driving awareness and providing support, especially for teens in need,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “From our initial conversations with Glenn and the team, we knew there was more to do in this space and we applaud Bring Change to Mind for its commitment to this important work.”
“When we were first introduced to the Abercrombie & Fitch Co. team and Fran earlier this year, it was clear they are dedicated to positively impacting the mental health and wellness of youth. Giving back is an integral part of its culture, and with our goals aligned, this partnership felt like a natural fit,” said Pamela Harrington, Executive Director of BC2M. “We are grateful for their partnership and we can’t wait to bring our program to Central Ohio, where we can foster meaningful conversations with our students and share resources to create a culture of peer support. A&F Co. is a great ally in this space, and we know that with our combined efforts, we can continue to have an impact on the stigmas associated with mental illness.”
A&F Co. is committed to making a positive impact on the communities it touches around the world and is proud to support the expansion of BC2M to support more students.
The company has provided funding and generated awareness through branded campaigns to several mental health organizations, such as The Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to LGBTQ young people, and supportive crisis counseling and a sense of community to LGBTQ youth to reduce risk factors for suicide.
The company is also an advocate for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and its #OnOurSleeves campaign, the movement to transform children’s mental health.