Brother of late Chris Farley speaks to North Platte students about mental health

North Platte High School endured a day full of education on mental health on Tuesday.
North Platte High School endured a day full of education on mental health on Tuesday.(Kelsley Wilkinson)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:34 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - North Platte Public Schools provided an opportunity for upperclassmen to learn and discuss mental health issues on Tuesday.

North Platte High School juniors and seniors attended workshops that included topics like managing anxiety, social media, body image, college readiness, and much more. NPPSD Director of Student Services Brandy Bruscher helped organize the Mental Health Day event for its second year, and she elaborated on why they only included juniors and seniors.

“Maturity, some of these topics are very mature, and the content is mature as far as struggles with mental health, so we wondered if it would’ve been better to have students that were a little bit older,” said Bruscher. “Seniors are always making tough decisions because I had a son who was a senior last year, and we also wanted to give them those tools on what’s next for them, and today we have college readiness, work force readiness, and some other things that they can learn to get ready for the next steps.”

The keynote speaker was Tom Farley, the older brother of the late actor and comedian Chris Farley, who died as a result of a drug overdose. Tom now goes to schools to talk about the importance of mental health and how that coincides with drug abuse as well. There was one message he wanted to get across to the students that attended.

“I’ve been talking about this for years now, and what’s even more critical now is the need for connection. When I went into schools, they had all these great prevention programs and a great deal of knowledge, information, and educational focus,” Farley said. “That’s why I wanted to find a way to support that. All these years later, with COVID, you know there is never a more important time to address the need for connection; the whole world suddenly felt like what being disconnected feels like. My main message is just that: “How to redefine connection.”