Giving a helping hand

Munster Mental Health resource group tries to bring light onto sensitive subjects

Alexis Perez, Design Editor

Raising awareness to mental health and building bonds with other students, the Munster Mental Health (MMH) Resource is trying to normalize conversations about mental health. The group tries to challenge against the stigma that most people do not realize is there.

“Many people grow up thinking that talking about mental health is something to be frowned upon and that they should be ashamed even talking about it,” Jocelyn Lemus, sophomore, said. “In actuality, more people need to be educated as to what mental health truly is, and that it’s normal to talk about your feelings and emotions. The MMH really helps bring light to it all.”

The idea of a mental health club was originally made by a senior who graduated last year, Saranya Sanaka. It was then passed down to Ava Quasney, who then changed it into what it is now called, Munster Mental Health Resource.

“One of my friends who was a senior last year and graduated had initially started kind of working on a proposal in her sophomore year, and then she roped me in with her when she realized that, her proposals not going through,” Ava said.

She worked on the proposal last year which ended up being denied. She decided to work with Mrs.Valerie Zemaitis, assistant principal and SAC sponsor. It is also student led this year, making it possible that even if they were not a club, they could still be a resource. With the group they think about bringing awareness to a subject like this. Trying to inform others of the importance that some students are actually struggling even though they don’t show it.

The meetings can be both informative or activity related. For example they learn about the stigma around mental health, mental disorders and ways to cope with them. The group also did a scavenger hunt to bond with other members with objects that people would often use to distract themselves or calm them down.

“The scavenger hunt was a fun and engaging activity we participated in to become closer as a club,” Shivani Collur, senior and student leader, said. “We used simple prompts like ‘something that makes you happy’ or ‘something that is rough to touch’ and had to find objects around us within seconds.”

The next meeting will be held April. 28, and meetings are every other Wednesday on teams from 6-6:30 p.m. The meetings start off with icebreakers to engage in conversation amongst the other students that either just joined or to get to know each other more.

“I think that by educating students about mental illness, teaching them to recognize the signs in themselves and in others,” Ava said. “Letting people know about the resources that are available to them, we help give other students the power to help themselves and others who may be struggling.”