The week beginning 10 May was Mental Health Awareness week and the Student Council, working with Mr Bass, provided a week filled with fun, informative activities and events to highlight such an important issue. The week started with discussions in form time around these issues using Action for Happiness booklets and an email from the Student Council detailing the week’s schedule and drawing attention to the purpose of Mental Health Awareness week.
Tuesday brought HappyDash which was an amazing event across both the Boys' and Girls' schools. The Student Council organised stickers, bubble machines, our very own Ms Slade bringing her usual happy energy with pom poms and, alongside our caterer Holroyd Howe, providing food at the end for all runners. The event was a huge success with an all-time record turnout of over 300 runners highlighting Habs’ commitment to raising awareness for Mental Health across our Schools.
On Wednesday, the Lower Sixth watched an incredible assembly led by fellow Lower Sixth student Adeel Salam about mental health and the importance it has on our lives. It was moving and powerful, especially coming from a classmate. The School Counsellor, Mr Grufferty, also wrote a beautiful piece on mental health, mindfulness and nature of which a small extract is below:
It is good to talk and to share, and I encourage each and every one of us to listen to ourselves and name the feelings and emotions we experience, taking the available opportunities to talk. Talking is processing, and just by talking alone we can untangle and unravel things, and we can get to know ourselves and our lives better. And when we know ourselves better, we make more informed choices. I often have particular sentences that really stick with me in this role. No matter what it is, every choice and every behaviour has a motive. And as I write this I do so with a motive. To connect with you, to give you an opportunity to know me better, and to open that door to conversations which I am always ready to have.
And very finally. Be kind to yourselves, treat yourself with kindness and compassion, as you would with a good friend who has gotten something wrong. And share out kindness too and notice how good it will make you feel."
The next day, the Lower Sixth had another talk led by Aadarsh Gautam (Hyphen) (OH 2011) who shared his own deeply moving mental health journey and gave students amazing advice about looking after their own mental health, highlighting key principles to live by and showing that doing the things that make you happy is the most important thing.
Overall, the week was a resounding success with brilliant events led by students, ex-students, teachers and more. Everyone bought into the message we were trying to get across and we believe that the Habs environment is a better, safer place for mental health problems as a result.
Written by Daniel Rossiter L6R1