BY Zhewei "Wyatt" Shi '18 and Zekai "Jackie" Guo '18
During the week of October 3, Marianapolis conducted a series of activities for Mental Health Awareness Week.
Simone Fournier ‘17 and Taylor Downing ‘18 shared their experiences with mental health with the Marianapolis community to introduce the week of awareness. In raising awareness of mental illness, they hoped their stories would change the impression surrounding mental health.
On Wednesday, one hour of the day was designated for Wellness Activities, or a "mental health break," in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week. The community relaxed with serene activities such as laying down and listening to music, coloring, cooking, and using stress balls.
“I thought it was really fun and educational,” said Yangchen “Tony” Gao ‘18. “We should do it every Wednesday,” added Zongxuan “Dominic” Cao ‘19. Both Tony and Dominic are excited for the next Wellness Week.
Thursday of Mental Health Awareness Week was a dress down day and students were asked to wear green, the color for Mental Health Awareness. Also on Thursday faculty pets were on campus for students to snuggle and relax with.
A baby animal farm and petting zoo was on campus on Friday to end the celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week. The animals included a lamb, goats, a piglet, chicks, ducklings and baby bunnies.
“We ran programs throughout Mental Health Awareness Week to reduce the stigma of Mental Health and for students and faculty to recognize ways they can pause their busy schedules, relax, and unwind,” said Ms. Zakreski, Assistant Dean of Students. “It is just as crucial for people to take care of their mental health as it is to take care of their physical health.”
Ms. Zakreski continued by saying that the school plans on having more activities next year for Mental Health Awareness Week, but will also be offering more “Wellness Wednesdays” this year which will include presentations on campus by psychologists and therapists, and of course, more opportunities to play with the faculty's dogs and other baby animals.