by Rahim Kouferidji | October 20, 2016 1:43 pm
Monday October 10 was not only Columbus Day, but it also marked the beginning of RB’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
In America, National Mental Health Awareness Week is recognized in May, with National Suicide Prevention Week lasting from September 5 through 11. RB has their own version of this called Positive Mental Health Week and takes place in October.
“We really wanted to do something for the National Suicide Prevention Week, but because it starts so early in September it’s hard to get that together unless we planned it at the end of the last school year,” said Christine Tappert, a social worker at RB.
This is Mrs. Tappert’s second year running Erika’s Lighthouse, the club that organizes Positive Mental Health Week.
“Erika’s Lighthouse is a group of students that work together to bring awareness and reduce stigma regarding mental health,” said Tappert.
This year, the group worked toward bringing positive thoughts and showing students what you can do to support peers and adults suffering from poor mental health or depression.
One of the activities that they ran was Cookies for Compliments, where club members handed out free cookies with encouraging statements.
Also, including the many posters and signs, the club used Lifesavers as their symbols and hosted a competition to count how many of them were in a jar. The student closest to the answer got a twenty-five dollar Target giftcard.
Those not in Erika’s Lighthouse can participate in the many activities throughout the year, as well as spreading the word about the club and its cause.
Tappert hopes to continue to grow the program and recruit even more members next year.
“As school social workers we have seen a rise of students with anxiety, depression and things like that, so I think it’s really important that the message be received by other students on how they can help and support their peers,” said Tappert.
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