Since the start of the 2021-22 school year, Sand Creek Middle School has initiated a series called ‘Mental Health Mondays’—kicking off each week and providing coping strategies for students to support positive mental health at school. The series led by Sand Creek social workers resulted in a culminating month-long recognition activity to bring awareness to mental health throughout the month of May.
While South Colonie educators have prioritized mental health for students continuously, the rising mental health needs as a result of the pandemic has educators and staff wanting to prioritize the topic to ensure that students and families recognize the resources that are available to provide support. With that focus in mind, the Sand Creek school community created opportunities for students to learn more about issues surrounding mental health and how to keep a positive mindset – both in and out of the classroom.
“As a school community, we feel it’s important to engage our students with opportunities to learn more about mental health awareness,” said Sand Creek Middle School Principal Mr. Marohn. “Especially in middle school, our students are at an important stage of their life and continue to learn and observe their environment, while seeking to understand their personal experiences. By highlighting various topics, and providing activities that showcase various outlets to support mental health, we hope we can continue this dialogue for our students to learn more about themselves and others.”
As part of the month-long recognition, the Sand Creek Middle School has taken a forward-thinking approach and engages students with weekly topics to increase awareness on ways to improve, manage and encourage various opportunities to support positive mental health.
Here are the topics that were addressed during the month of May:
Week One- Music as a way to support positive mental health.
Week Two- Art as a way to support positive mental health.
Week Three- Staying Active as a way to support positive mental health
Week Four- Mindfulness as a way to support positive mental health
As an added bonus, each week concludes with a celebratory activity offered to all students during lunch/recess related to that week’s theme. As part of this important outreach, students continue to access programs and materials that provide not only engagement and learning opportunities about mental health awareness, but to understand its impact on one another.