Pleasanton-based nonprofit Z-Cares Foundation has launched its annual Stand UP campaign, which wraps up next month with a Virtual Coping Carnival.
Creating awareness about youth mental health with a particular focus on helping young people "stand up" to anxiety, Stand UP Month also celebrates what would have been the 17th birthday of the foundation's late namesake, Zachary Nimmo, on Oct. 1.
"Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the U.S., but there is hope because the condition is highly treatable," Z-Cares said in a statement. "Often, those who experience extreme anxiety feel ashamed and suffer in silence, and Z-Cares Foundation is committed to jumpstarting the conversation about anxiety."
The Virtual Coping Carnival is "day of hope, fun and meaningful conversation" featuring local and national personalities, educational and informational segments, and "fun carnival entertainment."
Local comedian and storyteller Regina Stoops will host both the month-long campaign and one-day virtual event, which also features Karin Gornick, producer of the documentary "Angst," local mental health experts, and teens and young adults sharing their stories of living with anxiety and depression.
Zachary Nimmo's family will also take part in the campaign and virtual carnival, including a live event with his sister called "Sit Down With Sam," as well as discussions with Steve and Mannie Nimmo, Zachary's parents and co-founders of Z-Cares.
The event and campaign are free, but Z-Cares said they hope to raise funding that is needed to continue supporting youth mental health programming and keep events and activities free for everyone.
The Stand UP campaign is ongoing through the end of October. The Virtual Coping Carnival is set to take place Nov. 14, starting 10 a.m. To learn more, visit zcares.org.