‘Be Nice’ concert raises awareness for bullying and suicide prevention

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. — Be nice, that’s all it takes to prevent the effects of bullying and teen suicide, according to school leaders at Crockett County High School.

“There’s a stigma around anything that has to do with mental health, especially in such a small town like this where everyone knows each other, and so I think speaking out about it and being the bold voice helps everyone else feel like they can have some comfort in what they have to say as well,” said Ava Sellers, student at Crockett County High School.

Crockett County High School students and members of the community came together Saturday to spread a powerful message.

“It’s just strictly for you just to be nice, and love on one another, and hold each other accountable and build good healthy relationships and friendships,” said Emily Oswald, public health educator for Crockett County.

The “Be Nice” concert was held to raise awareness for bullying and teen suicide prevention.

“It is all strictly positive messages and uplifting music,” Oswald said, “and it spans all genres. We have everything from r&b and hip-hop to full gospel.”

The concert also included testimony from people who have been affected by the topics.

“A lot of them have attempted suicide or lost someone to suicide or just had suicidal thoughts, and so we really, really got to know each other and better understand what we were singing about and how to deliver a positive message about this hard subject,” said Lauren Castellaw, choir director at Crockett County High School.

Organizers say they hope this event will empower anyone who may be struggling.

“I think that it shows people that they are not alone,” Castellaw said, “and I think that encourages them to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that it’s not a bad life, it’s a bad day.”

Oswald says she is also a leader in the “Be Nice” program, allowing Crockett County students to open up and share their experiences, reminding them that they’re not alone.

The concert was free for the entire community to attend.

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