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Annual West Campus mental health awareness week counters student mental exhaustion, strain and stress

West Campus attempts to address mental health issues before they damage students
Hanna Yu
West Campus attempts to address mental health issues before they damage students

Like most high school students, West Campus students experience mental exhaustion due to the strain of meeting academic expectations and managing personal matters. 

Knowing this, the Associated Student Body of West Campus High School (ASB), hosts an annual Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW).

“MHAW provides so many resources to kickstart or continue the betterment of wellness and overall mental health,” said Keira Aspillera, one of the student planners of MHAW, held this year Nov. 13-17. “This is through the education of strategies, validations, and evidence to experiences, etc.” 

The theme of this year’s event was butterflies, symbolizing how everyone may change and advance from their prior experience. 

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The purpose of MHAW is to remind students that their mental health should come first and to provide resources for students to seek help and support. To reinforce that message, the week featured a variety of activities:

  • Monday: A recording of a Zoom interview with a family therapist posted online, with a slide show filled with resources, including phone numbers of support services and ways to speak about mental health.
  • Tuesday: The English language art teachers provided a Post-It note activity in which their students could write a kind message to themselves and stick it to someone where they can see it every day. 
  • Wednesday: MHAW buttons were distributed to serve as a constant reminder to everyone that they deserve happiness.
  • Thursday: A planting activity allowed students to write a goal on a butterfly seed card and then plant it in a mini pot. 
  • Friday: Everyone received an MHAW bracelet as a reminder that there is always an opportunity to showcase one’s potential in the world. 
  • Monday-Friday: A fundraising table was set up during lunch for Sacramento Youth Mental Health (SYMH). For a $1 donation, students received a green ribbon clip and a paper butterfly on which to sign their name for a butterfly wall. SYMH is dedicated to raising awareness of the value of teenage mental health, sharing information and resources, and identifying strategies for supporting youth in the Sacramento area. 

“Personally for me, my favorite activity was the planting activity,”  said sophomore Ariel Lao. “I mean how could I say no to a free plant and see my personal goal growing from it.” 

Some students said they gained more resources and knowledge about mental health. 

“It was really interesting to learn what was offered in my community and I do feel like I am more aware of my mental health and actions now,” said sophomore Maryjane Ishihara. 

“I’m so glad that our school is trying to bring awareness to mental health, especially at our school as it is a very academically heavy based one,” said sophomore Ayush Prasad. “This week helps us take a breather and remember all the support we have.” 

However, despite the positives of MHAW, some students said teachers should have done more to advertise and explain MHAW. 

“I do wish teachers at least talked about what was happening this week and the importance,” said sophomore Xiyi Ruan. “I can tell that many freshmen are confused about the activities and what is going on.” 

“None of my teachers talked about MHAW,” said Ishihara. “It’s not that I do not feel supported by them, but I do wonder why none of them talked about the event as it can have a huge impact on a student’s life.” 

Below is the link to the MHAW slideshow with mental health resources for students.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1sKFJUEJzj9OxHs8SzvTTd2tcxzMzBtX2WN0g33m9psY/edit?usp=sharing


 

 

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About the Contributor
Hanna Yu, Social Media Editor
Hi! My name is Hanna Yu and I am a sophomore attending West Campus High School. I like design and music!
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