Z-cares

The Z-Cares Foundation, with local sponsorship, is hosting a month-long campaign to stand up to youth anxiety, culminating with a Virtual Coping Carnival opening at 10 a.m., on Saturday, Nov. 14.

The foundation was established in memory of Zachary Nimmo, a 14-year-old student at Amador Valley High School, who tragically took his own life. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the U.S., but there is hope, because the condition is highly treatable.

Often, those who experience extreme anxiety feel ashamed and suffer in silence, and Z-Cares Foundation is committed to jumpstarting the conversation about anxiety. The campaign and carnival will be hosted by Local comedian and storyteller, Regina Stoops, and feature Karin Gornick, the producer of Angst, noted local experts, teens and young adults, as well as Zachary's family members.

The campaign, titled ‘Stand UP’ is an annual campaign to create awareness about youth mental health with a touching celebration of what would have been Zachary’s 17th birthday. The campaign will conclude with a Virtual Coping Carnival on Nov. 14. The Virtual Coping Carnival will feature a day of hope, fun, and meaningful conversation, as organizers wrap up the Stand UP month. The carnival will include local and national personalities, educational and informational segments, surrounded by fun carnival entertainment.

The event is free, but Z-Cares hopes to raise needed funding to continue supporting youth mental health programming. Z-Cares goal is to keep events and programming free for all. Teens, tweens, young adults, parents, dignitaries and prominent community members are expected to attend and join the carnival. The goal is to break the stigma of anxiety; to empower parents to recognize warning signs; for teens to seek needed help; and for teachers to understand how to support their students.

Among the experts and special guests are:

Regina Stoops - Local comedian, storyteller and mom. Emcee of Virtual Coping Carnival

Karin Gornick – Producer of Angst and local mom featured in the film

Steve and Mannie Nimmo – Zachary’s parents and co-founders Z-Cares Foundation

Samantha Nimmo – Zachary’s 19-year-old sister and psychology student at an LA College

Caty Hu - youth leader and 18-year-old sharing her story of depression