By KENDRA BURDICK and ALEX VERDUZCO
WARNING: This article talks about some sensitive topics involving mental health
Redlands East Valley High School is actively raising awareness and trying to dismantle the false stigma surrounding mental health through an annual fair. The Mental Health Awareness Club on campus hosted a mental health fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1:09 p.m. on May 3 in the main quad. This Mental Health Fair was available to all REV students and welcomed teachers to bring their classes for a walk-through of the booths and what they had to offer. Booths from different clubs and organizations dedicated to informing high school students about mental health are scattered around the outskirts of the textbook room and library stairs.
Wildcat Pride Association
Jaylene Tuazon, the club’s secretary is pictured running the booth during the fair in Redlands, California. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News Photo)
The campus pride club, Wildcat Pride Association, sets up its booth for the fair to help students understand the fake myths and the real truths behind the LGBTQ+ community and their mental health.
They informed the students and staff that wanted to know more about the facts and myths involving the LGBTQ+ community.
- Homosexuality is a choice.
- Being LGBTQ+ is an issue and can be cured
- Teaching students about this subject makes them gay
- LGBTQ+ people make bad parents
- You can identify an LGBTQ+ person by their mannerisms, clothing, and physical appearance
- One out of every two people a part of the LGBTQ+ community experience depression
- Three out of every five people a part of the LGBTQ+ community experience anxiety
- One out of every eight members of the LGBTQ+ community experience unequal treatment from health care staff because they are LGBTIQ+. One in seven have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination
- Homosexual behavior occurs in over 500 species of animals
Such as koala bears, penguins, seagulls, etc.
- One of every two transgendered individuals has considered taking their own life
- Members of the LGBTQ+ community are at a greater risk of experiencing hate crime compared to heterosexual people
- Sexual orientation is caused by factors such as genetics and the sociology of the brain
The main thing that this booth was handing out was sheets of paper with a list of different coping skills which were divided into three main categories, distractions, cognitive coping, and tension releasers.
- Clean or organize environment
- Doodle on paper
- Brainstorm solutions
- Think of something funny
- Write a list of goals
- Visualize your favorite place
- Chew gum
Mariana Cota, a senior in charge of the ‘Coping Skills’ booth states, “I think that this fair is definitely helping people such as our booth which helps to inform people about different coping techniques so that no one does anything negative because of their mental health. I believe that coping skills help people who take care of their mental health or not, though it’s really bad if they don’t. This whole fair is to promote mental health and the stigma around it because there’s a lot of stigma.”
BSU stands for “Black Student Union” and they have a booth to help spread awareness of mental health within the black community. (KENDRA BURDICK/Ethic News Photo)
“Our booth is talking about how mental health in the black community is very stigmatized and has a very negative connotation around it. So our goal is to bring some light on it and normalize it because I personally feel that it’s not normalized right now even though it should be because it’s something that everyone goes through. It’s also very toxic to push people down because they have mental issues.” Reymarr Bernier, the senior president of BSU continues to talk about the thoughts behind the school’s help in promoting mental health.
“I feel like the mental health club is doing a lot to help bring awareness and to help mental health but that’s not really a part of the school so I don’t really think that the school’s doing stuff about it, more so the students are trying to help each other,” states Bernier.
Mental Health Awareness Club
The president of the Mental Health Club Amélie Palacios is standing next to Isabella Olmos, both of them are working together and with others to help students be as informed as possible about the subject of mental health. (KENDRA BURDICK/Ethic News Photo)
“Personally, I found out things about mental health that I’ve never known before simply just walking around the quad and visiting other people’s booths. I think it’s good for everyone to be informed and know that everyone is going through something and everyone has different struggles but there are ways to help. I also feel that there should be other ways to get people informed about mental health and ways to cope through social media. I believe that venting and communicating is the best way to help your mental health and having support groups to talk to.” Olmos is a senior and a proud member of and attending the Mental Health Awareness Club’s booth.
One thought on “Wildcats spread awareness through the Mental Health Fair”
I couldn’t agree more
This is an amazing initiative by the Mental Health Awareness Club of Redlands East Valley High School. It is great to see different clubs and organizations coming together to educate adolescents on mental health. The booth by the Wildcat Pride Association has especially made me want to know more about their efforts towards removing the stigma surrounding the LGBTQ+ community and mental health. However, my curiosity is piqued on whether there were any medical professionals present to provide support for students who are already dealing with mental health issues or the aim of the fair was solely for education.