RM hosts activities for mental health awareness week


Avery Wang, Senior News Writer

To raise awareness for student and staff mental health, RM will be hosting a variety of themed events every day at lunch this week. At the county level, MCPS is offering free virtual events, co-sponsored by the Montgomery County School Psychologists’ Association (MCSPA). 

All events hope to promote mental health awareness and end the stigma associated with mental illness by encouraging students and staff to participate in open conversations and fun events. “Students may earn up to 11 SSL hours for viewing videos, attending virtual workshops, and participating in follow-up advocacy action” at the county level this week, according to the MCPS Mental Health Awareness Week website. 

The RM administration, along with the RM Wellness Committee, RM Counseling Department and RM Minds Matter student club, has planned events falling under five themes, one for each day of the week: Play Matters, Self Expression Matters, Mindfulness Matters, Mental Health Matters and Music Matters. 

Last week, students were asked to submit their favorite relaxing songs via a Google Form, to be played during the 5-minute transition times between periods. Yard games will be taking place in the gym every day during lunch this week, and art teacher Kelly Posey and counselor Julie Colatrella have planned art activities during lunch on Tuesday in Room 41 and on Friday in the Career Center. 

The RM Minds Matter Club is holding a meeting about journaling, a process intended to express creativity and relieve stress, on Tuesday, in Room 258 during lunch, and ASL teacher Dorothy Smith will be leading a mindfulness activity at the same time in Room 161.

On Wednesday, all students will participate in an advisory about mindfulness, and are encouraged to attend some of MCPS’s virtual events to commemorate this week. On Thursday, therapy dogs are visiting RM in the bus loop during lunch. Students are encouraged to sign up for a timeslot in advance to play with the dogs.

MCPS and MCSPA are hosting three live events: Tues. (7 – 8:30 PM) a Waymaking Special with Students on Tuesday from 7-8:30pm, which will highlight “student perceptions and concerns regarding their own mental health” and feature videos from members of the Our Minds Matters club and a panel of student leaders. 

A Careers in Mental Health Information Session will also be held on Thursday from 6:30pm-8pm and a Mental Health Resource Fair and Q&A Session on Saturday from 12pm-1:30pm. All events will be hosted on YouTube

In addition to live events, videos with featured guests and school psychologists on key topics, such as dating violence and social media safety, will be made available on their scheduled day. More information and a detailed schedule of the week’s events is available on the Montgomery County website.