Mental Health Awareness Day

On Friday, May 20, we celebrated our very first Mental Health Awareness Day. This all-day event filled with gatherings and activity stations was created by MTS counselor Melodie Del Rio with the goal of fostering mental health awareness and building resilience in our students. Why is this important? It's important to begin conversations about mental health and to reduce the stigma around getting help.

Students learn through experience ways to cope with difficult emotions. Especially after experiencing two years of pandemic life, our students now more than ever need coaching and practice in understanding and managing their emotions. The Mental Health Awareness Day also offered the opportunity for middle school students to learn more about common mental health conditions. 

The day started with a Lower School Gather in the gym introducing the importance of talking about mental health, and a concurrent middle school gathering in the covered courtyard where students heard from a panel of MTS professional community members share their personal experiences with mental health conditions. These individuals were authentic, vulnerable, and open to the middle school students, and it was impactful for everyone present to hear their stories. 

Following the gatherings, students in grades K-2 went back to their homerooms to work on various social-emotional projects with their homeroom teachers, including breathing exercises and activities with students' personal stuffies they brought in for the day. Meanwhile, grades 3-8 had the opportunity to rotate through ten different stations playing games, and grades 6-8 also learned about mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, eating disorders, and addictions. 

Kindness Station: Students wrote supportive messages on post-its for one another; wrote on a gratitude wall, created kind chalk messages around campus, and made origami fortune cookies for students in grades K-4.  

Eastern Stress Reduction: Students had the opportunity to try Yoga and Tai Chi. 

Mindfulness Station: Students participated in a mindful eating experience, a guided imagery exercise, and finally a walking mediation (or some variation on these exercises).

Music: Students participated in community drumming.


Expressive Arts: Students colored to different types of music that represent different emotional states. They also discussed how art can be used to cope with difficult emotions.  



Drama:  Students utilized drama to work through a conflict or express feelings.

Fidgets: Students made stress balls and received sensory stickers.

Games: Students participated in a scavenger hunt to find facts about mental health conditions. They also played a beach ball game to discuss mental health and coping topics.

Thoughts & Feelings: Students made a deck of positive affirmation cards and received an "I Feel, I Need" booklet.

Coping Station:  Students made a coping box to keep their materials in.   



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