Taft’s First Annual Mental Health Fair
February 10, 2020
A Taft student, Kylie Elder, and counselor, Ms. Yakovenko, wanted to destigmatize the negative notion surrounding mental health with a fair on the service road, February 13. Student Kylie Elder brought the idea of a day of action to Steiner after the Saugus High School shooting. This evolved to the now 1st Annual Mental Health and Wellness Fair at Taft. Teachers are able to sign up their class to experience the event with a smaller crowd during the fourth period, before being open to everyone during lunch. Having a day to support taking care of your mental and emotional state through fun and relaxing activities. This way of addressing the topic in schools allows teens to feel more safe and comfortable.
The event will consist of 15 stations along the service road. There will be a section with Mental health agencies and a company representing a text crisis hotline. Another section will be surrounded by expression through art. You will have the opportunity to paint a rock that will later be placed around campus as the stepping stones of our school. If you feel comfortable, there will be a table where you can write down your experience on a strip of paper to later become a chain, linking everyone’s experiences together. Some of our very own faculty will have a station set up. Ms. Coe, the librarian, will have a station with books that speak on the topic of mental health. Our nurse will have a station to explain how our physical health affects our mental health. There will also be a yoga station hosted by Ms. Lungburg.
This event is more than just an event. There are hopes that this will become a day to embrace one another in moments of adversity. Local district personalities will be attending the event to see the unity of our campus. As an extra incentive for students to come, many of the booths will have prizes and if you get a stamp from a total of 4 booths you can enter a raffle for larger prizes. Some health teachers are even offering extra credit opportunities for participating. Show up and show out to make this first year an event to remember.