Senior Sierra Healy speaks about mental health at a recent assembly. Photo courtesy of Pete Zivkov.
By Silas Stewart
A few weeks ago, Menlo hosted an assembly regarding mental health and why it is such a crucial topic to support. The speakers included Libby Craig from Hotline, Wes Pederson from the Wise Mind Institute, Nadia Ghaffari from TeenzTalk.org, Lesley Martin from Safespace, and Jonathan Frecceri from the Heard Alliance. The term mental health, as pointed out by the speakers, carries many misconceptions and therefore some people don’t feel the need to demonstrate support.
The most common misunderstanding is that many don’t see it as a legitimate medical problem, but the speakers argued that in order to eliminate that belief, awareness must be spread. “ Raising awareness about mental health is so crucial to reduce all of the stigma around it,” senior Sierra Healy added.
Healy, who gave a moving speech at the beginning of the assembly, believes that the community needs to promote mental health more effectively than we have been doing in the past. “People telling their stories and creating an environment that encourages vulnerability will dramatically shift the entire community’s view on Mental health and will make people more receptive to the reality of mental health,” Healy argued.
Overall, mental health awareness has been rising at Menlo, but hopefully it can be implemented fully. “Although there have been improvements, we still aren’t acting as effectively as we can to embrace those in need,” Healy said. We are continuing see a growing effort by the school to aid those who need help and a continued effort to raise awareness, as we saw another mental health assembly recently in which Steve Young spoke.