Hi! My name is Henry Lewis and I’m an incoming senior at Portage Northern High School. Like many families in our community, mine has been impacted by mental health issues that have been made much worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it appears that we are finally emerging from that pandemic, another one has risen in its place: teen mental health. I created Tee Up for Teens to help raise awareness of this crisis; to support the individuals and families impacted by it and to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southwestern Michigan (NAMISWM). Read more about NAMISW below and by clicking HERE.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced teens like my siblings and me into isolation from our face-to-face encounters with our friends during school, sports and social events and heightened what may have been underlying anxiety and depression for many of us. Most teens us turned more heavily to social media during this time which only worsened these conditions. This isolation led to skyrocketing reported incidents of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and many other conditions. Mental healthcare providers and treatment centers are now overwhelmed and must turn away patients in need of serious and immediate care. While COVID-19 may be going away, the mental health conditions it aggravated will require treatment for years to come.
This teen mental health crisis has impacted thousands of families in our community just like mine. Too often, these families face the strong stigmas associated with mental illness which makes mental illness challenges much more difficult. My family is strong, and we are blessed to have open minds, good insurance and access to top quality care. When I realized that far too many families lack the basic awareness, resources, education and skills to help a loved one through a mental health struggle, I wanted to help.
One way Tee Up for Teens will help is by hosting the charity golf tournament on Friday, August 27 to which you’ve been invited. We are grateful for your help whether it be by your participation in the tournament or your donation to Tee Up for Teens through this website. But we’re more than just an annual golf outing. We will organize volunteering opportunities; we will facilitate teen-to-teen awareness and we will arrange speaking opportunities for experts from NAMISWM and other organizations to raise awareness in our schools and our community.
Tee Up for Teens will donate 100% of the proceeds from the golf tournament and all other donations. NAMISWM is the primary recipient of our donations but we may donate to other qualified nonprofit organizations aligned with our mission. Your tournament registration fees and Tee Up for Teens donations are 100% tax deductible. Tee Up for Teens is a Michigan nonprofit company and our IRS Employee Identification Number is 87-1370673.
Thank you for your support! I can’t wait to see you on the course!