YOUNG YOGIS - Layla Mooney

YOUNG YOGIS - Layla Mooney

Mental Health Week kicks off in local schools

All across town this week, each school held their own set of Mental Health Week initiatives.

All across town this week, each school held their own set of Mental Health Week initiatives.

Students of Our Lady of the Rosary School were treated to a yoga class Wednesday morning from Blyss Hot Yoga.

Kim Small, yoga instructor with Blyss, said the mental health benefits in children when doing yoga is limitless.

“You can see after a while how much greater of an attention span they have, you can see them focusing more and they just really seem to love it,” said Small, adding it’s also a great way to maintain physical health.

Throughout a number of school’s teachers talked with their students about the importance of mental health. The importance of maintaining and building positive mental health was taught to the students. Other areas such as the stigma associated with mental health issues were also discussed between some students and staff.

Fox Run School family wellness worker, Megan Helmer, explained they spoke with their students on how maintaining positive mental health will help them to achieve success.

“If you have the skills to cope with stress and pressure when you are younger, it be easier to implement these coping skills as you grow older,” said Helmer. “We just really want them to start thinking about that idea of building and maintaining positive mental health.”

As a family wellness worker, Helmer sees the effects mental health has on young people first hand.

“A big part of the promotion of mental health is reducing the stigma and we see that stigma pop up everywhere,” she explained. “We don’t want to see that stigma continue through generations. We want young people to understand the importance of mental health and understand they are able to reach out and get the support they need, free from judgment.”

“We want them to be able to independently maintain their mental health throughout the rest of their lives and the best way to do that is to teach them coping skills at a young age.”

Other events throughout the week included coping skills bingo at Fox Run School and Hats Off For Mental Health in a number of schools where students were allowed to wear their hats in class for the day in support of mental health.