During the week of October 23, IMSA hosted its annual Mental Health Initiative week with fun midday activities, de-stressing after school events, and important nighttime discussion throughout campus.
The week kicked off with counselor in a fishbowl event, followed after school by therapy dogs. Everyone who went loved the dogs, and some students said that they “looked forward to them all day.”
“I think it’s good to have something to look forward to at IMSA,” commented Grace Kelly (’18), “because otherwise I feel like I’m drowning in work.”
Other events this week came with similar reactions. Throughout the week, StudCo left paper and pens out for students to write “I Care About You” cards to their friends, teachers, and other staff members.
“They remind me to tell my friends how much they mean to me, why they’re great people, why they shouldn’t compare themselves to others, and [in general] they’re such good little pick me ups,” stated a member of the class of 2018. Even something as small as the bead jars in Old Cafe or the profile pics made people feel like they were less alone.
Although all of the feedback received on the events was positive, some students wish that the week had been more ‘hyped up’.
According to Mounisha Kovour (’18), “some of the teachers didn’t know it MHI week was last week, along with some of the students.” Some also felt that there should have been more serious events, explaining the importance of mental health and what to do when you notice the signs that someone is going through something.
“Oftentimes knowing the signs isn’t enough,” said a student (who asked to remain anonymous). “Knowing how to react, who to send them to, and how to cope with it yourself are sometimes even more important.” Others agreed, but said that there is only so much that can be fit into one week.
“If we are going to make a long lasting impact I think we need to take what we’ve learned from this week and apply it to the rest of the school year,” stated another anonymous student. “Not even just the rest of the school year, but the rest of our lives. Mental health is extremely important and I truly believe that MHI week is a great way to open up the floor to important discussions that will hopefully start the change needed to take away the stigma surrounding it.”
Overall, last week was a great way to spread awareness and bring people on campus together to reflect and enjoy MHI week.
“It’s nice to see the campus come together during the week and all try to work together to either give their input, experience, advice, or comfort,” says Grace. “I think the week overall is extremely positive.”