KeepHealthCare.ORG – SHDHS focusing on Mental Health Week in May
A committee has been hard at work organizing a mental health awareness week at South Huron District High School.
Dubbed “A Community United – Mental Health Week at SHDHS,” the event takes place Tues., May 1 to Sat., May 5, featuring guest speakers, activities, and safe talk training.
The event’s roots trace back to last year when the school’s Parent Council was looking for ways to get parents and the community more involved with the students, committee member Christina Rothbauer told the Times-Advance. Eventually, they came up with the idea to focus on mental health and suicide prevention.
Rothbauer said, “Our school, over the past few years, and our community, has lost quite a few people to mental illness and suicide. What better way to bring our students and community together, while at the same time shine a light on this crippling illness?”
The group received a Parent Reach Out Grant to cover some of its costs.
Tues., May 1 and Wed., May 2 will feature “Change Day,” a full-day interactive workshop during which teens, teachers and members of the community take part in thought-provoking games, activities and discussions with the aim to stop bullying and alienation and promote acceptance and respect, empowering youth to make change within their communities and schools, Rothbauer said.
On Wed., May 3, through the Tanner Steffler Foundation, Canadian sports broadcaster Michael Landsberg will speak to Huron-Perth students about his own journey with depression and mental illness. Landsberg will also be in Blyth for a dinner at Cowbell Brewery at 5:30 p.m., then Blyth Memorial Hall at 7 p.m.
On Sat., May 5, mental health advocate, trainer for safeTALK Suicide Alertness Training and SHDHS graduate Craig Redick will provide safeTALK training at the school from 8:30 until 11:30 a.m. The training will be offered for free for the first 30 people who sign up.
At noon on May 5 there will be a road hockey tournament called #HOCKEYTALKS. The school hopes to have lots of families, friends and community members participate in this all-ages tournament. The day wraps up with the school’s annual Cabaret at 7 p.m.
“With this mental health awareness week, we hope to help shed a light on this very dark subject. And hopefully, by banding together, we are able to help many students with the very real struggles they have,” Rothbauer said.
For more information on the week, visit the SHDHS website or the group’s Facebook page, A Community United.
The group is still looking for donations to help out with mental health initiatives at the school. Anyone interested can contact teacher Stacey Park at SHDHS.