OWN IT students and their adviser, Ms. Aasen planned a week-long, school-wide Mental Health Awareness Campaign. They created a “chill zone” by their coffee shop and planned to bring different speakers in to discuss mental health issues, concerns, stigma and resources. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Polar Vortex and school closures created some challenges. Resiliency paid off and last week students in grades 8 – 12 were invited to listen to three presentations on mental health, prevention, resiliency and resources!
Ms. Aasen shared her professional and clinical knowledge of mental health with students. Discussing depression, anxiety, self harm, PTSD, and eating disorders. Regional Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Patti Miller shared information about the Crisis Text Line, warning signs that could signal a mental health crisis and shared ways students could spread kindness and create the “norm” of kindness. OHS teacher and girls basketball coach, Jonathan Nelson, shared his personal journey with mental illness and bipolar disorder. He shared his insight and reason behind writing his book, Straightjacket Memories by Jonathan Nelson.
At the end of the presentations student were asked to write one way they could be kind to one another on a heart shaped cut out. Ms. Aassen found a creative way to display their notes of kindness.
Random Acts of Kindness Video – “Kindness Can be the Norm”