February’s PAWS…and Think theme is Mental Health Awareness. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage students to learn the five signs of depression, how to get help for their peers or themselves when mental health issues arise, and to create a school culture where students feel comfortable asking for help.
Throughout the month the Club will be sharing information through videos on the morning announcements and posters in the halls and bathrooms. A social media campaign is planned to go along with the “#BeTheChange” for the month. Students will be encouraged to take a selfie which shows their own hand with the words “I am the Change” written on it in the foreground. This represents their pledge to know the five signs and their willingness to support their peers. An emphasis is also being placed on having the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Text Crisis Line on their devices. Students who put the numbers on their phones will be entered into a drawing for a gift card.
In addition, along with Physical Education teacher Shane Kargo, PAWS..and Think has organized three mornings that students can meet to learn and practice meditation techniques. Mr. Kargo teaches the Mind and Body class which focuses on mindfulness, nutrition, current events in health, and brain training. This is an effort to promote mindfulness and the practice of the healthy habits of emotional well-being.
Follow EACTC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on the student’s activities throughout February.
The five signs and healthy habits are from the Change Direction website. Change Direction also has additional resources and a list of helplines.
24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of 150+ crisis centers.
Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via text. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly.
For more information on Teen Mental Health visit the National Institute for Mental Health website.