PARSONS ‑Parsons High School and Parsons Middle School are honored to welcome Damon Parker, the championship wrestling coach, award-winning teacher, and acclaimed motivational speaker, for a special engagement Friday focused on teen mental health and suicide prevention.
Coach Parker serves as the executive director of The Jones Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of students. The event is scheduled to take place at PHS on Friday and promises to be a transformative experience for the school community.
“The Jones Project provides free motivational keynote presentations to Kansas secondary students,” PHS academic advisor Kylie Lucas said. “They give actionable steps to students who are struggling while emphasizing the importance of specific mental health interventions already in place at school.”
In The Jones Project’s inaugural year (2022-2023), Coach Parker embarked on a remarkable journey, standing on 91 stages and traveling over 10,000 miles to reach more than 31,000 students across Kansas and nationwide. His motivational talks sparked crucial conversations about the pressing issues surrounding teen mental health and suicide prevention. Combining his experiences as a championship wrestling coach, award-winning teacher, and seasoned speaker, Damon’s engagements resonated deeply with students, empowering them to address their emotional well-being with courage and resilience.
“We here at The Jones Project are thrilled to collaborate with Parsons High School in our shared mission to support teen mental health and suicide prevention,” said Coach Parker. “We believe in creating a culture of open communication, empathy, and understanding, where students feel safe to discuss their mental health and seek support when needed. This upcoming visit aims to inspire and empower Parsons High School and Parsons Middle School students, fostering a compassionate and supportive environment within the school community.”
During his presentation, Coach Parker will share personal stories, impactful anecdotes, and evidence-based strategies along with his own deeply personal struggles with mental health. It is his goal to help students navigate the challenges of adolescence while prioritizing their mental well-being. By addressing the stigma surrounding mental health, Coach Parker aims to foster an environment where students feel encouraged to seek help, support their peers, and collectively create a positive change.
“The Jones Project has received widespread acclaim for its transformative work, touching the lives of countless students across Kansas and beyond. Under Coach Parker’ guidance, the organization continues to make a meaningful difference, providing essential resources, support, and hope for those facing mental health challenges.
This event is a remarkable opportunity for Parsons High School and Parsons Middle School students, educators, and parents to engage in a meaningful dialogue on teen mental health and suicide prevention. Together, the school community can create a nurturing and resilient environment, supporting one another’s emotional well-being.
These sessions are closed to the general public. For more information about The Jones Project, please visit www.thejonesproject.org.