Press Releases

Project Silence No More Summer 2019: 2nd Annual Mental Health Awareness Concert, Change of Leadership, and Sammons Financial Group Donation

August 20th, 2019- click here for PDF version

A bird’s eye view of Terra Park the day of the concert.

A bird’s eye view of Terra Park the day of the concert.

JOHNSTON, IA— It has been a busy and exciting summer for Project Silence No More. On July 13th at Terra Park, the organization held their 2nd Annual Mental Health Awareness Concert. The event included performances by Johnston Alumni, The Kyle Burgess Trio, and Vinyl Vagabonds. Remarks were given by Mayor Dierenfeld, 2019 PSNM Scholarship Recipient Gurleen Kaur, and Tammy Churchill, who began her speech by saying “Thank you to Project Silence No More. These young adults saw a need in our community and stepped up and did something about it.” 

The concert also included an announcement by Project Silence No More’s co-founders; JHS 2015 graduates Luke Johnson, Tristan Coldrake, Kelsey Caffrey, and Marcus Miller, who said “One aspect that we feel makes our group unique is the fact that our organization is run by recent alumni of JHS, (which is why) we are officially announcing that we are stepping down and inviting a new generation of leadership, led by Ally Andreasen as President.” She will be working alongside Vice President Katie Michalski, Treasurer Anjali Dhawan, and Secretary Lauren Goodwin. The new Team PSNM is excited to continue the legacy of their predecessors. “Some may say we have big shoes to fill, but I think a better way of putting it is that we have a great example to follow,” said PSNM President Ally Andreasen.

Project Silence No More is proud to announce that the concert was a success. There was an estimated 400 people in attendance, and through the generosity of their sponsors and community, they were able to raise nearly $7,000 for their cause. Project Silence No More is amazed and humbled by this outpouring of support.

Presentation of the check by the community outreach committee at Sammons Financial to Project Silence No More

Presentation of the check by the community outreach committee at Sammons Financial to Project Silence No More

On the topic of community support, Project Silence No More would like to extend their thanks to Sammons Financial Group, who’s employees nominated and voted to award PSNM $12,000 as a part of their community outreach program. “We are honored to receive this generous award from Sammons Financial, and thrilled by the potential for how their support will allow us to impact our community,” said PSNM Treasurer Anjali Dhawan. 

The recent donations from both Sammons Financial and the concert attendees has made it possible for a long time vision of Project Silence No More to come to fruition. “We know mental health issues affect more than just Johnston,” says President Ally Andreasen, “which is why we are currently planning to start chapters of Project Silence No More in other Des Moines area cities.” For inquiries about starting a chapter in your city, information on any of the initiatives discussed in this press release, or information on how you can get involved, visit projectsilencenomore.org or email contact@projectsilencenomore.org.

Project Silence No More to Help Fully Fund Suicide Prevention Training Program For Johnston Community School District

April 18th, 2019. Click Here for a PDF friendly version.

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JOHNSTON, IA— Project Silence No More is thrilled to announce our donation of $2,500 to the Johnston Community School District for its suicide prevention training program, Sources of Strength.  Project Silence No More is partnering with the Cameron Carico Foundation, who is also donating $2,500, to fully fund the program. “I am excited to help students feel empowered to tackle issues surrounding suicide, depression, and mental health. This donation continues the much needed conversation surrounding mental health in the Johnston Community, and I’m grateful to be part of this work” says Marcus Miller, a co-founder of Project Silence No More and 2015 graduate of Johnston High School.

Sources of Strength is a research based program that equips peer leaders with tools to improve the connections between peers and promote help-seeking behaviors. Project Silence No More initially pledged to donate $500, plus $65.20 based off social media interactions with its followers. However, after discussing this program with the board, the Johnston Community School District, and the Cameron Carico Foundation, Project Silence No More determined that the Sources of Strength program is incredibly needed and valuable for Johnston students.

The collaboration between Project Silence No More, the Cameron Carico Foundation, and the Johnston Community School district underscores a key point: mental health wellness is a community wide effort. Co-founder and 2015 JHS alum Tristan Coaldrake states, “Being able to fund this program never would have been possible without the support of the Johnston community and the many donors who have helped us this far. We will never be able to thank the community and donors enough for providing us with the opportunity to help fund this program.”

Project Silence No More continues this conversation surrounding mental health by continuously investing in the Johnston Community. Our second annual mental health awareness concert is on July 13th at 6pm at Terra Park. We also award a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior wishing to pursue a career in the mental health profession. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by the April 28th deadline. Project Silence No More also recently brought on three interns to assist us during the summer, providing them with an opportunity to gain real-world experience in a collaborative environment. To learn more about our organization, get involved, or donate, please visit our website at www.projectsilencenomore.org or follow us on social media @prjctsnm.