Many thanks to NDSS Grade 12 student Karman Kainth for writing this article.
Since the start of the 2021-22 school year, the Delta Youth Advisory Council team at North Delta Secondary has been promoting mental health literacy and mental wellness to all students.
Prior to winter break, the team facilitated mental health literacy lessons to Grade 8 students that they had co-constructed with some teachers. Grade 8 students were introduced to a range of mental health challenges and learnt how mental well-being is a vital aspect of one’s personal health that they must care for and maintain.
In conjunction with Bell Let’s Talk Day that took place on January 26, the DYAC leadership students organized a school-wide Mental Wellness Week from January 24-27. Collectively, through a variety of activities, the team raised funds for Bell Let’s Talk and educated the student body about mental health and wellness. A Wellness Wall was constructed where students were encouraged to post words of inspiration and kindness. The school donated 5¢ for each of the 900+ messages that were posted to raise money for the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, which provides grants to projects that improve access to mental health care, supports and services for people in Canada. Lunchtime Yoga sessions were led by PE 10 Leadership students to offer the opportunity for students to reduce their stress.
A Mental Wellness Art Contest was also initiated to enable students to showcase their creativity in support of mental wellness. During announcements every morning, DYAC students presented facts about mental wellness in order to continue promoting mental health literacy throughout the school. In an effort to leverage the momentum generated during Mental Wellness Week, the team started an Instagram page where they posted mental wellness tips and resources, and the struggles overcome by some famous celebrities. In addition, the school’s North Delta Community and Culture podcast featured an extra show dedicated to talking about mental health and wellness. You can listen to it here: https://anchor.fm/tavneet-jandu/episodes/Checking-in-with-your-Mental-Health-NDs-Mental-Wellness-Week-e1dg623
The students plan to continue promoting mental health literacy resources and aim to reduce the stigma around mental wellness conversations in an effort to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all members of the school community.