Athens High School addresses mental health awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness month.

Posted: May 3, 2021 6:17 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 7:38 PM

Athens High School has outlined days to focus on different mental health initiatives.

"I was so happy to see that Athens High School was having mental health awareness week," said Heather Kiel, an Athens City Schools parent.

As a parent, Kiel said it's reassuring to know her child's school is addressing mental health after a challenging year.

"All of our children have been affected during the pandemic, and I think it’s good to let children know it’s OK to not be OK," said Kiel.

The psychology teacher at the high school, along with students, put up posters around the building to shine a light on mental health. Ms. Hicks said mental health conversations should be normalized.

"If students learn how to increase their happiness and lower their stress levels, as a young person, they can carry that with them into adulthood," said Hicks.

Hicks said she does think the pandemic helped break some of the mental health stigma.

"Being at home and having nothing to do but look on social media, there’s a lot of accounts that are very mental health and self care positive," said Hicks. "Students are seeing it’s OK to talk about it just like your physical health."

Athens High School added posters around the building as a constant reminder to students that talking about how you're feeling is OK.

"We have a stress management dashboard that went out to every student with a link. We have a therapy dog coming during the lunch hours," said Hicks.

The goal of the activities and initiatives are to increase mental health awareness to students. May is Mental Health Awareness month.

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