Big City Mountaineers, Partners with Salt Lake City Teacher Bridging the Gap Between Teens and Mental Health Care Access

March 10, 2022

Nicki Preece launches YOU + MOUNTAINS to benefit mental health care access and outdoor adventure

Salt Lake City, UT– (March 10th, 2022) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a national nonprofit and leading provider of outdoor and backcountry experiences for youth from disinvested communities is has teamed up with YOU + MOUNTAINS – an outdoor-inspired t-shirt brand with a mission of providing outdoor adventure and mental health care access to teens.

Working with teenagers every day, Junior High School teacher Nicki Preece sees first hand the challenges her students face in today’s world. Growing up in the midst of a global pandemic has only added to the ever-increasing rise in mental health challenges teens were already experiencing. “As I looked for answers, I began to realize that there can be a lot of obstacles between teens with mental health concerns and resources that could help them grow in positive and healthy ways,” Nicki said. Having recovered from PTSD herself, she says she knows first-hand the healing that is possible when access to mental health care is within reach, and wants to make sure kids have access to the help they need.

During her summers off, between school years,Nicki also works as a hiking guide in Switzerland. She knows first hand the great benefit that time outside, away from screens, being challenged with new rewards, can increase resilience and confidence.

Over the last year, an idea began to form, and YOU + MOUNTAINS was born – an outdoor-inspired T-shirt brand with a mission to provide outdoor adventure and mental health care access to teens.

YOU + MOUNTAINS is currently partnering with Big City Mountaineers, a non-profit providing free access to fully-outfitted and professionally-led outdoor experiences for youth ages 8-18, and MeWater Foundation, an organization run by surfers and mental health professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area which provides day and overnight surf camps to youth, families, and groups, with a mental health approach to mindfulness, empowerment, and exposure to the ocean and the great outdoors.

“BCM has long sought to connect young people with the outdoors in order to support their well-being, from physical to mental to emotional health. While these opportunities have always been important, the pandemic has magnified the important role that time in nature plays in securing mental health for teenagers,” said Megan Aranow, BCM’s Director of External Relations. “We are honored to highlight and partner with a brand like You+Mountains to bring awareness and resources to the work of breaking down existing barriers to transformative experiences outdoors for all youth.”

“In addition to supporting a good cause, we also wanted to create a quality shirt that is just the best shirt around. They love the outdoor inspired designs, and we’re trying to make something that’s just fun to wear. I think they’ll become a staple in a lot of closets, particularly for people who care deeply about these causes”, Nicki said.

YOU + MOUNTAINS’ goal is to eventually offer mental health care scholarships to teens as well. “My hope is that this brand can be a great force for good and change some lives for the better, helping teens grow into healthy, happy, resilient adults. I think there’s a lot of good we can do when we all work together,” said Nicki.

50% of all YOU + MOUNTAINS proceeds go towards their mission of making outdoor adventure and mental health care more accessible to teens. See youplusmountains.com or @youplusmountains on Instagram for more information. Contact Nicki Preece at 801.477.0413 or info@youplusmountains.com.

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About Big City Mountaineers (BCM)

Big City Mountaineers is committed to providing transformative experiences through nature that strengthen life skills and build community for youth from disinvested communities. Working in partnership with community-based youth agencies, BCM identifies and breaks down material, social, and psychological barriers to outdoor access, helping program participants connect with themselves, their community, the natural world, and a deep sense of joy. BCM operates youth programs in six major metropolitan areas nationally: Denver, CO; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Minneapolis, MN; and Boston, MA.

Media Contact: Megan Aranow, Big City Mountaineers megan@bigcitymountaineers.org

Beth Cochran – bethcochran@whatsuppr.com 406.579.7909