Mental Health First Aid montana students meet lady gaga

BOULDER- The program is part of Lady Gaga's Born this Way Foundation and Two Montana  students and their chaperone were selected to go to Las Vegas and meet Lady Gaga.

Jefferson High School was just one of eight schools in the country chosen to complete a pilot program for Teen Mental Health First Aid training last school year.

Rising senior Jadyn Bellander says when the program was first introduced to Jefferson High School, she thought it was just be another program about mental health. Bellander says no program they had tried in the past had worked.

However, after completing the five-week pilot program, Bellander says she's seen an improvement in the school.

"The stigma around talking about mental health is not totally gone, but we've made steps for it to be erased and we've learned it's okay to talk about mental health," she said.

The program was taught to sophomores through seniors and Bellander says she hopes they bring it back next year and she can help teach the younger students.

Last month, Bellander, rising junior Meadow Grace and Mental Health First Aid leader Sarah Layng were chosen to fly to Las Vegas to meet Lady Gaga.

Bellander says she was hopeful she would meet Lady Gaga but organizers tried to keep it a surprise by saying they were going to see Cirque du Soleil.

The students spent the day with Lady Gaga's mom and were talking about the program when Lady Gaga surprised them in their conference room. Bellander says she gave each of the 16 students a hug and sat and talked with them for 45 minutes about the program.

Bellander said, "I didn't think that a celebrity would care this much about other people and it was just amazing, she took the time to talk with us."

Bellander says she told Lady Gaga it was effective that the program was implemented into multiple grades at the high school.

After the meeting, Lady Gaga brought the students and chaperones to her concert.

Bellander said, "She also took us up on stage to recognize what work we had been doing with mental health and it’s just amazing how much she cares."

Both Bellander and Layng say when they started the program they never thought they would be traveling to Las Vegas to meet Lady Gaga.

Bellander says she now wants to show other students, "It's okay not to be okay."

Organizers of the pilot program say they're working to implement the program into 20 other school across the country, next school year.

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