Earlier today we were so thrilled to be part a new initiative called Tina’s Teddies. The organization provides Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals to behavioral health centers to help children in therapy feel more at ease. While the project itself is impressive, the story behind the bears is what makes Tina’s Teddies so special.
Carrie Parsons and her eleven-year-old daughter Mckenzie launched Tina’s Teddies just a few weeks ago and Four Rivers Behavioral Health was their first stop to distribute the bears they have collected.
“It was important for us to begin today. Today is the one-year anniversary of Tina’s death,” said Parsons.
Tina was Mckenzie’s cousin and arguably her best friend and one year ago today, Tina took her own life. McKenzie knows what it’s like to be scared and uncomfortable in therapy. After Tina’s death, Mckenzie and her mother sought out therapy as a way to work through grief. And out of those sessions, Tina’s Teddies was born.
“It was important for us to take something that was so hard and turn it into something positive,” Parsons said.
The tag on each bear introduces Mckenzie and the bear with the simple phrase of, “we want to be your friend!” The tag goes on to explain that after Tina’s death, Mckenzie was comforted with stuffed animals that Tina’s family gave to her and how those small stuffed animals (along with therapy) helped Mckenzie with her anxiety and depression and gave her the tools to work through all the emotions surrounding Tina’s death.
Mckenzie and her mother have already collected more than two dozen bears and couldn’t wait to donate them on the anniversary of Tina’s death. We are so happy to be a part of this amazing story.
You can find out more about Tina’s Teddies from their Facebook page Tina’s Teddies.
If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, know that help is available. Our crisis center line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800.592.3980 or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’
More information about behavioral health treatments is available from our website at www.4rbh.org or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Photo: Mckenzie Parsons, Ashlee Brockwell, FRBH Early Childhood Mental Health and Carrie Parsons