Raising Awareness for Children’s Mental Health

15th Annual Pony Express Ride
News 2 at Ten
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Volunteer motorcyclists are riding across Nebraska for the 15th annual Pony Express Ride. The ride itself raises awareness about children’s mental health and generates community support for youths. The riders pick up letters about children’s mental health written by youth, their families, and other supporters, and deliver them to the steps of the State Capitol to DHHS Chief Executive Officer Dannette R. Smith and Nebraska Secretary of State Robert Evnen.

“If people could hear some of the stories that we have heard on our trip, they would learn these kids have experienced issues that make you realize how blessed you are,” said Bill Primrose, a 15-year Pony Express Rider. “We are trying to bring awareness that some kids have deep issues with mental health and abuse. People need to understand that.”

The Pony Express Ride started on May 18 in Scottsbluff and will conclude at the Nebraska State Capitol on Saturday, May 21.

“There is a big lapse in help for children, and we are trying to bring awareness to that with the ride. We collect letters across the state and visit with different people and daycares,” said Primrose. “The kids just love us, and we love the kids. If there are issues with any kids, we are hopeful that they will be seen soon, so they can get treatment. The longer we wait means the longer it will take to add them back as productive members of society.”

Experts say half of all lifetime mental illness begins at age 14 and three-quarters by the age of 24.

“Hopefully in my lifetime, we will get a handle on this. As long as I am still able I am going keep trying,” said Primrose.

Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:

  • Nebraska Family Helpline – Any question, any time. (888) 866-8660
  • Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

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