Hebron celebrates mental health week


photo by Mitchell Mayhaw

Junior Ben Kim wears green at lunch to show support for mental health week. On Monday, students wore green to promote mental health awareness.

Student council will educate students about mental health with activities throughout the remainder of the week.

“Peers listen to peers,” student resource counselor Yasmin Somnath said. “If one student takes mental health seriously by promoting healthy habits and talking about stresses, it will encourage others.”

Student council scheduled school dress up days for each day of the week: students were encouraged to wear green on Monday to promote mental health, blue on Tuesday to support strength, pink on Wednesday to promote compassion, yellow on Thursday to promote happiness and school colors on Friday to support unity.

“When somebody feels like they have nobody to talk to, they will keep it to themselves and the issue continues to build,” student council sponsor Taylor Piers said. “That’s why we’re wanting to do visuals like dress up days so people can visually see that there are people here who want to support you.”

Student council is also spreading awareness through the school announcements by reading facts about mental health and including an activity on Wednesday called “hi, how are you?” The activity consists of students starting a conversation with another student without judgement and with genuine concern.

“We’re really encouraging our officers on Wednesday to go out into block lunch and really lead by example,” Piers said. “Going into block lunch gives officers the chance to show kids what they are talking about and what they’re doing and so hopefully the students try and start a conversation and it will become a chain reaction.”

Somnath said the school has done a great job with recognizing and dealing with mental health issues. The Living Well expo, the suicide prevention curriculum (SPC), monthly Smores and student programs are all outlets to help students with mental health issues.

“There is still a lot of stigma involved with talking about mental health,” Somnath said. “But continuing the conversation with peers in a non-judgmental way can make them feel comfortable enough to talk about their struggles, which can allow you to help them find a solution.”

Next year, student council plans on merging Hebron’s mental health week with the national mental health week, which is October 6 through 12. Student council also plans on adding more activities of their own creation to the week next year.

“I would like to see a speaker,” student council sponsor Jennifer Russell said. “It gives an opportunity for someone to share their story with the students, and maybe some of our students will find something in common with that person that can help.”