Retailer and Nonprofit Announce Collaboration on World Mental Health Day
NEW ALBANY, Ohio, Oct. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), a leading, global specialty retailer of apparel and accessories, is pleased to announce its partnership with Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue and raising awareness, understanding and empathy about mental health. Co-founded by award-winning actor and activist, Glenn Close, whose family has been affected by mental health issues, BC2M is focused on ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. The announcement aligns with the aim of World Mental Health Day, which brings attention to global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigmas associated with mental health.
A&F Co. is proud to support the expansion of BC2M’s educational programs across Central Ohio, which is home to the company’s global headquarters. The retailer’s initial funding will support implementing student-led high school clubs in 20 Greater Columbus area schools by fall 2020. Bring Change to Mind’s High School Program gives teens a platform to share their voices and raise awareness around mental health. Its aim is to erase the stigma around mental illness by increasing awareness and education, fostering student empowerment, building mentoring opportunities, and encouraging youth to challenge the misconceptions that so commonly surround mental health conditions.
Additionally, A&F Co. will host BC2M’s First Columbus Leadership Meet Up in early 2020, where at least 40 local student leaders will attend a day of discussion and training as they start to launch the Bring Change to Mind program in its schools.
“Ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is important, now more than ever before. Through various organizations we support at the local and national level, we understand the severity of mental health issues facing our communities today, and we are dedicated to driving awareness and providing support, especially for teens in need,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “From our initial conversations with Glenn and the team, we knew there was more to do in this space and we applaud Bring Change to Mind for its commitment to this important work.”
“When we were first introduced to the Abercrombie & Fitch Co. team and Fran earlier this year, it was clear they are dedicated to positively impacting the mental health and wellness of youth. Giving back is an integral part of its culture, and with our goals aligned, this partnership felt like a natural fit,” said Pamela Harrington, Executive Director of BC2M. “We are grateful for their partnership and we can’t wait to bring our program to Central Ohio, where we can foster meaningful conversations with our students and share resources to create a culture of peer support. A&F Co. is a great ally in this space, and we know that with our combined efforts, we can continue to have an impact on the stigmas associated with mental illness.”
A&F Co. is committed to making a positive impact on the communities it touches around the world and is proud to support the expansion of BC2M to support more students. The company has provided funding and generated awareness through branded campaigns to several mental health organizations, such as The Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to LGBTQ young people, and supportive crisis counseling and a sense of community to LGBTQ youth to reduce risk factors for suicide. The company is also an advocate for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and its #OnOurSleeves campaign, the movement to transform children's mental health.
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About Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) is a leading, global specialty retailer of apparel and accessories for Men, Women and Kids through three renowned brands. For more than 125 years, the iconic Abercrombie & Fitch brand has outfitted innovators, explorers and entrepreneurs. Today, the brand reflects the updated attitude of the modern customer, while remaining true to its heritage of creating expertly crafted products with an effortless, American style. The Hollister brand epitomizes liberating the carefree spirit of an endless California summer for the teen market. abercrombie kids creates smart, playful apparel for children ages 5-14, celebrating the wide-eyed wonder of childhood.
The brands share a commitment to offering products of enduring quality and exceptional comfort that allow consumers around the world to express their own individuality and style. The company operates over 850 stores under these brands across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the e-commerce sites www.abercrombie.com and www.hollisterco.com.
About Bring Change to Mind
In 2010, Glenn Close co-founded Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), a nonprofit organization built to start the conversation about mental health, and to raise awareness, understanding, and empathy. The idea for the organization resulted from Ms. Close’s first-hand observation of the battles with mental illness within her own family. Ms. Close’s sister, Jessie, successfully lives with bipolar disorder, and Jessie’s son, Calen, lives with schizoaffective disorder, and all three are actively involved in spreading the organization’s mission. BC2M develops influential public service announcements (PSAs); pilots evidence-based, peer-to-peer programs at the high school level engaging students to eradicate stigma; and has created a social movement around change by providing people with platforms to share, connect, and learn. Because science is essential to achieving this mission, BC2M’s work is grounded in the latest research, evaluated for effectiveness, and shared with confidence. An integral component of this is BC2M’s Scientific Advisory Council, which is comprised of an acclaimed team of experts in the fields of stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. For more information, please visit www.bringchange2mind.org
Source: Abercrombie & Fitch Company