New mental health club

Senior Tessa Hruska creates “Mindfulness Club,” after experiencing group therapy.


Counselor Jim Franko and club creator senior Tessa Hruska meeting over Zoom. Photo courtesy of RB’s Rouser.

Hannah Sales, Staff Reporter

Here at RB, we have so many amazing clubs, and now to add to that list is the brand new Mindfulness Club created by Tessa Hruska. Hruska is a senior at RB who knows first hand what it’s like to have a lot going on in your life.

“I was having a really rough time balancing school, family, friends, and myself. At one point I broke, and I fell deeper than I’ve ever been,” Hruska said.

Tessa had created this club because she knew other kids were having some of the same problems that she was experiencing and she wanted to give them an outlet to express how they feel. 

“After experiencing a community of people my age who felt the same, I felt empowered to bring it to RB,” Hruska said. 

Tessa had experienced group therapy like this before and she believed that the people at RB could also benefit from a similar program. 

“It supported me in breaking point, being surrounded by people like me and hearing their similar stories, we were able to brainstorm positive ways to create solutions. I want this to be provided for anyone,” Hruska said. 

During the first session of the club, you could tell everyone there was nervous and not sure what to expect, but once we got things going everyone settled in nicely.

“It’s hard to be immediately comfortable in any space. So it was initially awkward, but when we started meditation, everyone participated. I look forward to it becoming the safe space I want it to be,” Hruska said.

“I was very interested in this type of group for myself. I have been struggling with challenges from the lockdowns and COVID and wondered how this type of group could help. I personally find meditation and the breathing very helpful. It helps take my mind off whatever is stressing me out at the time. I now find myself practicing mindful breathing to help clear my mind or just to help me fall asleep,” Hruska said.

The topic of mental health is often looked down on, but Tessa pushed past that barrier and created a format that she believed would successful for everyone involved.

“I did research, tons of research to prove why this club is necessary. I used my psychology textbook to look into group support and its benefits. I also came up with different ways to place thoughts during meditation. It was an analytical and a creative process that I spent so much time on,” Hruska said. 

Guidance counselor Jim Franko is the sponsor and one of the driving forces behind Tessa. He introduced her to mindfulness and mediation. He has helped her create the club and talk to teachers about spreading the word. He believes that this group is a benefit for many of the students here at RB. 

Come visit Tessa on Zoom at 12:40 on Wednesdays after school.