Last week as part of their studies, Grade 10 students in Health & Physical Education classes hosted initiatives every day during lunch and homeroom as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Their goal was to promote wellbeing by educating, supporting, and providing strategies for people experiencing mental distress, mental health problems, and/or mental disorders and illnesses.
To raise awareness and educate their fellow students as well as teachers, 10th graders collaborated with the counselors and hosted multiple activities, such as discussions, played games, made Kahoots, created animations, told personal stories, a coloring station, meditation, and more. There was also a positive thoughts board and a mental reflection wall where students wrote on post-its and added to them throughout the week.
One group of students wrote, animated, and voiced a video for classes to watch during homeroom:
Their reach to raise awareness also included a social media campaign with our online Instagram followers with the #dissthestress hashtag. These students worked with the AISG Communication and created posts, stories and graphics to get the word out about this very important topic. Students were very creative in coming up with their daily content and their success was shown with the thousands of interactions and impressions it generated. The power of social media allowed their voice to be heard and appreciated.
Students touched upon a broad range of topics such as depression, anxiety, anorexia, mental distress, autism spectrum disorder, stress, and other areas of mental health and mental illness. There is still stigma related to these topics and we think it’s important for our students to learn and understand that anyone can be undergoing these things, there is no shame, and to understand how to recognize when you or someone you know needs help and how to get help. The more we learn, the more we understand, and the less we stigmatize important topics such as these.
When asked to reflect on last week, one student group said:
We had such an amazing opportunity to be able to reach out to our school community and promote good mental health and strategies. It was a great experience to watch other groups explore the tiers of mental health and different initiatives to support our school. We think it is super important that taking good care of your mental health doesn’t end after Mental Health Awareness Week. Taking good care of your mental health should be a continuous process throughout your lifetime.
To see more of what the students have worked on as well as information about mental health, follow our Instagram @aisgzram and search for #dissthestress to see their posts.
For a list of local counseling resources, click here