By Aja Bradley, Clinician at Pathways SBYSP, Carteret High School
At the beginning of the 22-23 school year, a senior, Maryam Ahmed, was contacted by Magnify Wellness (MW) to start a chapter at CHS. Their vision is to create a “strong, healthy, and inclusive school environment where students are not afraid to talk openly about their mental health or to seek help in school.” Who better to pair up with than Pathways!
As president, Maryam gathered a list of students who were interested in joining a club that addresses mental health. To her surprise, about 30 students showed interest, of those, about 12 have joined the club and attended meetings. Although mental health has become more normalized in recent years, teen mental health, aka “the silent epidemic,” continues to grow. Some students are hesitant to talk about their mental health and seek help; therefore, MW hopes to reduce stigma and create an open dialogue about mental health. MW wants to create a positive supportive environment that allows students to feel more comfortable talking about their struggles with mental health and seek appropriate services.
MW has 2 club meetings and 1 lunchroom activity each month. During the club meetings, students discuss their own mental health and offer peer support through stress-relieving activities and practicing various coping skills. Students also discuss, plan, and prepare for cafeteria activities which aim to reach a larger number of CHS students during their lunch periods. Through these activities, we hope to continue the mission of normalizing talking about mental health.
For the month of December, Magnify Wellness recognized that the holidays can be just as stressful as they are joyous. To reduce stress, MW created a holiday-themed trash bin and encouraged students and staff to throw away their stress. By dumping their stress, we hope that students and staff would carry less stress with them into the holidays.
Holiday themed stress relief activity, “Dump it to Crumpit”!
This activity had a great turnout with over 350 participants!