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Mental Health Awareness Month

May 12, 2022

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, it is our privilege to share original poems by Riley Champion Allie Bowman. Allie was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at 8 years old and receives ongoing support from multiple Riley specialists. “My care team is the main reason why I am today – they gave me the determination and resolve to push through and never give up,” said Allie.

Riley’s Behavioral Health program is expanding to address the urgent mental health crisis in our state. The need is great – nearly 40 percent of Indiana students reported feeling sad or helpless in the last year, according to the Indiana Prevention Resource Center. Allie is passionate about advocating for other kids like her with invisible disabilities. “Riley looks at the whole child, not just what they’re struggling with,” Allie shared. “When donors give, they help erase the social stigma.”

A Spark – by Allie Bowman

Mental health is always important,
A smile on your face makes the day worth it.
Make sure to take breaks
When you’re feeling tired,
Rest for a while so you can
Push yourself higher.

You’re perfect,
You’re worthy,
You’re one of a kind,
Just get those three sentences
Into your mind.

When things are tough
And everything seems dark,
Just strike a match
And let your heart be the spark.

I am Stronger – by Allie Bowman

In my head, there’s something pulling,
Something nagging,
Something chewing.
If I reach up to give an itch,
I feel a twinge and start to twitch.

My tics are something I can’t help,
And no, it’s not all words and yelps.
Repetitive movement is quite depleting,
And sometimes I stop,
But those moments are fleeting.

But at the end of the day,
I’ve improved a great deal.
The years with my care team
Have made me stronger than steel.