A student at Dougherty Valley High School designed the winning entry for California’s "Mental Health Awareness License Plate Competition."
Selected from a pool of submissions created by high school students throughout the state, San Ramon's Anshuree Banerjee's design was selected as being the best design to accurately reflect the importance of mental health care.
“I wanted a design that clearly included California as part of the solution and was positive about mental health,” Banerjee said in a statement.
SRVUSD officials say proceeds raised from the sale of the commemorative plates will benefit the California Department of Education for mental health wellness centers located in schools throughout the state.
Dougherty Valley is one of two SRVUSD schools that is scheduled to open a wellness center on their campus in the 2020-2021 school year according to district officials, with the second scheduled to open at California High School.
Designed as a place where students can visit to speak with adults whenever they are feeling stressed or anxious, district officials say wellness centers provide students with a space to take a break and receive support from their school.
"The SRVUSD has made student mental wellness a priority. Wellness Centers were identified as a priority in the District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and were one of five recommendations that resulted from the work of a Mental Wellness Task Force," district officials said in a statement.
According to BeingwellCA, an organization dedicated to promoting mental health among students, State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) is the author of SB1223, a bill that authorizes the California DMV to issue a specialized license plate for mental health awareness.
“This license plate has the potential of raising millions of dollars for student mental health which are so desperately needed in the post COVID-19 school environment. And it does it without raising taxes,” said Graham Wiseman, CEO of BeingwellCA -- which he founded alongside his wife Caroline after the suicide of their son Colin at the age of 15.
In recognition of the Wiseman family, Banerjee's submitted design includes the 4 Colin as the license plate number.