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Miss PA visits DMS and LMS for Bullying Prevention Month

Miss Pennsylvania high fives a group of students during visit for Bullying Prevention Month

In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, Downingtown Area School District (DASD) welcomed Miss Pennsylvania, Alysa Bainbridge, to share her story and promote the destigmatization of mental health. On October 20, Bainbridge led school-wide conversations about bullying and its harmful effects at both Lionville and Downingtown Middle Schools.

“I wish I had someone come into my school when I was young who could relate to my experience and discuss how to build self-esteem and overcome the effects of bullying,” Bainbridge said. “I hope to teach students about the important connections between bullying and mental health, and how to ensure they're treating peers who are struggling with compassion and allyship, rather than stigma.”

Bainbridge is a passionate advocate for mental health and recovery through her social impact initiative, “Tyler’s Triumph: The More Than Project.” Growing up, both of Bainbridge’s siblings struggled with mental illness. She founded “The More Than Project” to empower others, letting them know they are so much more than their struggle, and that a mental health diagnosis doesn’t define them. It is Alysa’s mission to educate all ages about the importance of early mental health intervention and to create stigma-free spaces where all are welcome.

Throughout the program, Bainbridge shared personal stories about being bullied and invited students to become a mental health ally. “As a mental health advocate, I know the consequences bullying has on our youth's mental health,” Bainbridge said. “Bullying continues to be a leading cause of suicide and low self-esteem, and I think it's absolutely vital to have conversations around mental health and the effects of bullying as early as possible.”

“Here in DASD, bullying of any kind is unacceptable,” Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Justin Brown said. “District programming and initiatives like this are aimed at stopping bullying across the district.”

Bainbridge concluded her program with a strong message for students, “You matter. You are worthy. You are loved and you are so much more than your struggle. I promise that there is so much hope, and I promise that things will always get better.”

To learn more about Miss Pennsylvania Alysa Bainbridge visit www.alysabainbridge.com. To learn more about DASD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and to see examples of its program in action, please visit www.dasd.org/diversity.