You can sign up now to get email alerts or text messages for the 14-day campaign. 

charles-photo-squareCharles Aubrey Rogers, 20, suffered from depression, anxiety and ultimately addiction and died by suicide June 5, 2015.

He was a creative genius and one of the funniest and most popular kids in school yet he hid his depression due to stigma. If there was one consistent theme about Charles, it was that he always reached out to kids who were new, hurting or invisible to others.

He taught everyone around him, kids, teens and adults what it meant to let another human being know they mattered. As talented and funny as he was, this was his greatest gift. The #umatterchallenge was created in his memory to carry on his legacy of reaching out to others. Sign up for text or email reminders.

Sign up for text messages:

Fourteen days of text messages. Then one every 30 days after to remind you to do the challenge once a month. Sign up by texting the word ezcharles to 313-131 or use the form below.

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Sign up for email messages:

Fourteen days of email messages and stories. Then one every 30 days after to remind you to do the challenge once a month.

What is the #umatterchallenge?

It’s a social-media based teen and young adult program focused on empowering teens and young adults to inspire change as it relates to acceptance of mental illness. Teens and young adults have helped develop the #umatterchallenge. This is not a popularity contest. Success is what you learn from getting outside of your own head, reaching out and connecting with others. (Adults can play too!) Guidelines below the video. 

#umatterchallenge Guidelines

  1. Sign up for daily text reminders for 14 days (Adults please use the email sign up form)
  2. Take a photo to represent what you did to show another person they mattered. In person gestures are best
  3. Example: Ask someone new to have lunch with you at school. Basically it’s an act of kindness that touches another human being
  4. Post to Instagram, caption it w/your story, tag it #umatterchallenge
  5. Do one a day for 14 days
  6. Do one for you in that time frame
  7. different person every day: friend, family member, someone you don’t know
  8. Don’t go for ‘easy.’ Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Be creative but not risky
  9. Check out the creative ways others using the challenge by searching the tag, #umatterchallenge
  10. On day 14: Do a video–a selfie interview, video interview of friends about your experience and challenge a friend. “I nominate _____ for the #umatterchallenge to wipe out the stigma of mental illness”

How does it work?

  1. Sign up, at umatterchallenge.com fill in email address and first name. Or sign up on this page.

Sign up by email. We’re asking adults to sign up by email due to cost of text messaging.

Teens and young adults can sign up by text message.

2. For 14 days following the sign up (after the launch on Feb 21), you will get daily reminders by email. You can sign up after that and your personal 14-day journey starts the day you sign up.

#umatterchallenge by email. (For adults who want to participate.)

#umatterchallenge by text reminders (for teens and young adults)

3. Do something special for someone you know or don’t know. It can be inviting someone to your lunch table, helping someone load groceries into a car. Different person each day. One day for you during that 14 days.

umatterchallenge

It says Day 21. But it is now a 14-day challenge

4. Upload a picture that represents that deed onto Instagram and tag it #umatterchallenge and caption it with a story. It can be one sentence or a paragraph. For examples, search #umatterchallenge hash tag on instagram. (Make sure you enable sharing to your twitter and facebook accounts if you have them.)

5. On day 14, you make a video, a selfie or a group video, describing how it made you feel. Your experience. Your journey. Upload the video to Instagram, tag it with #umatterchallenge.

What is the purpose?

Too many are suffering in silence, afraid to speak up and ask for help due to the stigma of mental illness which is a genetic disease of the brain. We are empowering you!

Technology has “silo-ed” us from creating the bonds that are so important to human beings. This challenge is also meant to inspire face-to-face personal interaction. As many as 30% of kids in a given school go an entire week without anyone ever saying hello to them.

  • While designed for and by teenagers and young adults, we’d love to have adults support the effort. Good for individuals, clubs, sororities, fraternities and other group projects
  • At this time, this is available in English only. If you wish to help me translate it, contact me!

How you can run this for your school?

  • We are making “kits” for schools and/or college clubs. A teen/young adult takes ownership of the program, orders the kit with an adult sponsor. Instructions and templates are included. We are currently developing this kit. A school counselor has to be on the team.
  • Donor money from Beacon Tree Foundation pays for the kit contents
  • Want to try it? Sign up here: umatterchallenge.com
  • Contact me if you are a teen/young adult and want to run this for your school

 

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, and a counselor will do their best to help you.