Students reach out to each other to address mental health

Students in the Be Nice club at Caledonia High School give an assembly to their peers about the importance of mental health. credit: Camryn Asper

Caledonia High School students are taking a stand in support of each other.

A group of 35 students worked together with staff advisers to create an assembly as part of the district’s overall efforts to support mental health. The assembly focused on the Be Nice initiative utilized in schools across the nation to educate and provide students, staff, and parents with the tools to recognize a mental health illness.

Students were asked questions about their mental health that they answered using glow sticks. credit: Camryn Asper

“High schoolers face so many challenges and are under so much stress that our age group is the largest age group for mental health illnesses,” said senior Camryn Asper, who helped plan the assembly. “Having a group like the Be Nice leadership board is so important because we are able to spread awareness and stress to students that they are not alone, and give them the tools on how to handle certain situations when it comes to mental health.”

The assembly included interactive question-and-answer activities about mental health. Students signaled their answers by raising glow sticks when they had experienced a certain issue. Camryn said she and her classmates found a commonality of experiences regarding mental health among students.

The Caledonia Be Nice group passed out candy with encouraging notes to students during exam week and is also planning activities for the holidays.

More than 30 students worked to create the Be Nice assembly as part of ongoing efforts to address mental health at Caledonia High School. credit: Camryn Asper
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Hannah Lentz
A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit. Read Hannah's full bio or email Hannah.

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