Mental Health Awareness Week in photos

By Zachary Jaffe

Last week, the Stressbusters Committee and the Bridge to Wellness (BTW) mental health specialist team collaborated to host Mental Health Awareness Week. The week included daily stress-relieving activities to ease unhealthy levels of pressure. Their goal was to improve students’ mental well-being, especially with upcoming AP exams, said BTW Youth Development Specialist Zakariah Anderson.

The week included a meditation session on Monday, self-care lessons on Tuesday, yoga on Wednesday, self-talk lessons on Thursday and games, therapy dogs and basketball on Friday.


Meditation Monday:

Junior Amelia Otte and other students meditate in a circle to destress.

 “Sometimes it’s really overwhelming to get a mountain of schoolwork and think about college and AP exam scores,” Otte said. “But when I meditate, I remember that my life is a lot more than just school, and that gives me a more grounded perspective as to how I want to spend my time.”


Self-Care Tuesday:

Students practice self-care through exercise.


Anderson guides students through a variety of self-care activities.

“Self care activities, whether it be coloring or breathing, usually are done to center the individual,” Anderson said. “It allows you to focus and concentrate on the now rather than the past or the future.”


Yoga Wednesday:

Parent volunteer Megan Mullan leads a yoga class as students and staff practice breathing exercises and different poses.

“Being able to control your breathing to slow down your mind can change your mood and let you be mindful of what you’re thinking and how you feel,” Mullan said.


Self-Talk Thursday:

Students participate in a self-talk seminar. Executive Coach DeeDee Fisher teaches about the importance of discarding both repetitive and negative thoughts.

“Changing the way you think and being mindful can alter every aspect of physical and mental health, which then can affect every part of your day-to-day life — in school, in sports, with friends and at home,” Fisher said.


Friday games:

Staff and students pet dogs in the bus loop.


Students compete in basketball games to have fun, exercise and destress.


Junior Elif Ozel and other students write positive and encouraging messages on a poster.

“Whitman is a competitive school with a lot of mental health problems and stress,” Ozel said. “Having this event after I take my retakes or tests is good.”