Students learned about how to be an effective ally and different resources which help with mental illness during Mental Health Day Thursday, April 11.
Mental health day explored the issue of allyship and how students can help those with mental illness and reduce stigma around the topic.
Counselors and professionals at local clinics and care centers discussed how to be effective allies to those suffering from mental illness e-block.
According to Michelle Kennedy, who works at Riverside Community Care, simply being there for someone suffering from mental illness can be helpful.
“The biggest thing is to just listen,” Kennedy said. “Don’t judge. Don’t laugh. If you want to be supportive, picture yourself in their shoes.”
School nurse Theresa Staulo, gave tips about how to support those with mental illnesses.
“Open and honest communication with friends is great,” Stallo said. “You can privately advocate for them and seek help for them.”
Panelists said that by facilitating open conversations about mental health, people can reduce stigma around the topic.
During mental health day, teen speakers Allyssa Guerin and Zoe Habel from Families for Depression Awareness gave advice on how to find resources to mitigate or help with mental illness.
Habel added that there are resources to help with depression, and students should feel free to reach out when they need support.
“There’s a lot of online resources,” she said. “There are many apps, like Headspace, there are also videos on YouTube on personal development.”
According to Jenn Pontillo, a Clinical Care Counselor, school counselors and other trusted adults in school can be a great resource.
Beyond Silence, a film that followed three individuals as they discussed living with their mental illnesses, played for students and teachers during c-block, and Jubilee performed d-block.