Mental Health Week is right around the corner, and the counseling office is preparing for the most impactful year yet. Starting on Monday, October 10th, and running to Friday, October 14th, it will be a week jammed packed with events centered around Mental Health.
Ms. Michels, Director of College and Career Planning at Totino-Grace said a few goals of Mental Health Week are to “provide students with information, so that they can try to designify mental health issues.” Ms. Michels continues, saying that we can “empower students to confront these mental health issues.” One opportunity provided in last year’s Mental Health Week was a depression screening, which had a large turnout of students. Ms. Michels expressed her approval over last years numbers, hoping that the bringing back of this screening for this year’s Mental Health Week will produce the same turnout.
Mr. Morcomb, a counselor at Totino-Grace, is the main orchestrator of the Mental Health Week activities. Morcomb believes that the main purpose of Mental Health Week is to “open and continue a conversation about what is present and real in our lives.” He noted that many students want to help bring awareness, which he approved. Mental Health Week began when Mr. Morcomb came to Totino-Grace, and has become more and more of a focus each year. Morcomb commented that we can make people more aware of mental health, thus allowing more to be diagnosed.
There are three licensed counselors: Ms. Blaido, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Morcomb, along with a licensed school psychologist, Dr. Kahn. They will all be helping students that week, and contribute towards bringing awareness and creating dialogue. Mr. Morcomb believes the core values of Mental Health Week are “education and awareness,” which allow our community to “challenge and empathize with others who face mental health challenges. ‘What can I do personally?’” This is one thought which Mr. Morcomb believes we should all remember when deciding to take action towards mental health.
Opportunities during the week
There are many opportunities this week to keep students busy. On Monday, October 10th during morning convocation, the theme “invisible” will be revealed through a video. There will be a door decoration contest throughout each day of the week during homerooms to engage students, along with a prayer and a message.
One opportunity, which Mr. Morcomb highlighted, was a professional speaker coming to Totino-Grace on Tuesday, October 11th. John Crudele will be speaking from 9:15 to 10:34, and will speak with students throughout the day after lunch.
There will be depression/anxiety screenings available for students on Wednesday and Thursday. This is not mandatory; however, students are encouraged to participate in a screening when they have free time.
On Friday, October 14th, students will get the chance to participate in an online dialogue through the use of their cellular devices. Taking place in room 409, students will text a number in their smartphones initiating a dialogue based on mental health and other related topics. Teachers will be on standby to assist with the process. Text, Talk, Act will carry over to Monday, October 17th after school for anyone who still wants to participate. Aside from school day activities, the counseling office has worked to prepare after school activities for anyone who wants to participate. These activities range from playing games and drinking hot chocolate, to open art with Ms. Braun.
Mental Health week serves to create a dialogue and diagnose those with mental health issues; however this can expand from just mental health. Mr. Morcomb notes that this week is not just an awareness of mental health, but stress and other states of mind which people experience in their daily lives. When asked how this year’s Mental Health Week will stack up to past years, Mr. Morcomb expressed his confidence that this year will be the most impactful and engaging Mental Health Week yet. Mental Health Week is right around the corner, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to participate in. Try to take part in the dialogue!
Mental Health Links: