Students at francophone school L’Anse-Au-Sable learned about a variety of mental health issues, from anxiety and depression to sexuality and alcohol addiction during Mental Health Week.
Mental Health Week runs from May 2-8 across Canada, with the Kelowna school coming together to discuss these important topics on May 4.
School Counsellor Shyloe Fayad said that the event organizers hope to give students strategies to better take care of their mental health, and provide education on the topic.
“What we’re hoping is that by taking a pause during this day in the middle of the week, we will give them tools and strategies to improve their mental health going forward, and also give them the experience of what it’s like to do activities specifically for that.”
Fayad said that now more than ever, mental health is important for children and teenagers.
“Mental health is specifically important for teenagers and children because it’s right now that you set a lot of your routines, your development happens right now.”
Later in the day, students participated in workshops and activities designed to promote strategies to maintain good mental health. Students were challenged to spend the day without their cell phones and other devices in order to develop strategies to improve their mental health.
Grade 10 student Chanelle Bryan said she thinks it’s important to share mental health struggles with those close to you.
“The problems in your head become this big, and when you say them out loud and you talk to somebody about it, even if they just listen to you, they become so tiny, and you realize that you can actually do it.”
Fayad said that mental health is a priority for the school, and organizers hope to make the event an annual occurrence.