Cecilia Gentili: Pioneering Activist and Cherished Friend
By Dr. Laura Erickson-Schroth Cecilia was one of those people who didn’t need a last name. If you said “Cecilia” in a group of queer ...
On Aug. 31, The Jed Foundation (JED) senior leaders, staff, members of the Board of Directors and Leadership Council, students, and school leaders were invited to ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in the heart of Times Square in New York City.
The special event kicked off with Nasdaq Listings Host Kristina Ayanian introducing JED, highlighting its mission to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults nationwide. Ayanian then called up to the podium the day’s ceremonial bell ringers: John MacPhee, JED’s CEO; Rebecca Benghiat, JED’s President and Chief Operating Officer; Donna Satow, JED’s Co-Founder; and Jose Caballero, JED’s 2023 Student Voice of Mental Health Award Honoree.
Before the countdown began to ring in the start of trading, MacPhee offered brief remarks on JED’s origin and more than two decades of impactful work equipping individuals, mobilizing communities, and strengthening schools so young people have the mental health support they need to thrive.
He also called attention to the organization’s award-winning Seize the Awkward campaign, a joint effort from JED, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Ad Council that encourages young people to have open conversations about mental health. The campaign’s latest public-service announcement was displayed on Nasdaq’s seven-story marquee and tower for the duration of the opening bell ceremony, bringing much-needed attention to a major public-health issue.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death among emerging adults, with youth of color, LGBTQIA+ youth, and those from low-income circumstances experiencing even more stressors,” MacPhee said. “While I want to emphasize the seriousness of what we are seeing, I want to be clear: Suicide is preventable.”
MacPhee concluded his speech by encouraging individuals to leverage JED’s resources to make a difference in their own communities. “We can all play a role in supporting youth mental health by being supportive adults who help create communities of care,” he said. MacPhee, Benghiat, Satow, and Caballero were then joined on the stage by the rest of JED’s guests to push the button and ring the Nasdaq opening bell.
JED was selected to mark the start of back-to-school season and announce the relaunch of its updated Set to Go resources for students transitioning to life after high school, as well as to let individuals know hope and help is available this Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with the return of the It’s OK to Say Suicide campaign.
The Nasdaq Stock Market, situated in New York City just a few blocks from JED’s headquarters, is the busiest stock-trading venue in the country in terms of volume, and it ranks second for shares traded. Millions of national and international business, finance, and policy professionals rely on Nasdaq for the most up-to-date financial news and analysis.
If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7.
You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.
If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.