SCHS launches Mental Health Awareness Week

MENTAL HEALTH awareness has become a widely celebrated movement. (Fairfield Medical Center)

Taylor Van Dijk | Opinion Editor

April 28, 2024

Immediately following the relaxation of spring break, the April onset of academic pressure and stress ensues. With AP season and finals rapidly approaching, students scramble to make an academic comeback before finals, which inevitably leads to heightened levels of stress, pressure, and anxiety. 

RELEASED SCHEDULE for the events of Mental Health Awareness Week. (Instagram: @sanclementehigh)

San Clemente High School puts on a Mental Health Awareness Week that provides students with unique opportunities to relieve stress and build support amongst the student body. ASB combines efforts with the Wellness and Prevention Center to organize care grams, “scream for ice cream,” a mental health resource fair, a campus-wide green-out, and stress relief efforts throughout the week.

On Tuesday at lunch, a “Scream for ice cream” table gave ice cream to any student who would relieve stress by screaming. This allowed students to blow off some steam and unwind while also providing them with a surprise dessert. This attraction distributed hundreds of ice creams to the students of SCHS.

SERVICE DOG and volunteer at mental health awareness lunchtime activity. (Emily Ohman)

On Wednesday at lunch, program organizers brought a golden retriever emotional support dog for students to interact with, which turned out to be a crowd favorite. Studies have shown that support animals can reduce levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness, making them overall beneficial for human health. Furthermore, ASB members distributed bubbles and chalk to help students unwind and reset. Students also continued to fill out care grams for their friends and peers. Junior Grace Pratt took advantage of the care gram table to “take a second to show her friends how appreciated and loved they are, something we don’t do enough.” These programs are designed to remind students to be kind to their minds and encourage their friends and peers to do the same. 

Community Service Commissioner Andrea Ayala recounted that “not just during the week, but all year long students should prioritize their mental health. By raising awareness of mental health we can help students feel more comfortable seeking help and work towards creating a more supportive and passionate campus for all students.”

As Mental Health Week rounds off, remember to take a second to breathe and encourage your friends to do the same. San Clemente High School has many resources for those who do need help, which every student on campus should remember. If you or a friend is struggling with mental health, do not hesitate to visit your guidance counselor or the Wellness and Prevention Center. 

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