by Falyn Bonacore
Adolescence is inevitably a trying time for most teenagers. With their naïve and developing minds, teenagers are vulnerable to mental health problems that may diminish their self-esteem and self-worth. This issue affects many teenagers adjusting to high school. As a result, teenagers may begin exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviors that can easily threaten their learning and personal growth.
At Oceanside High School, we have an after-school club, Sources of Strength, run by faculty advisors Mr. Lyson and Mrs. Prestigiacomo, that focus on mental health awareness for students. This club promotes mental health awareness through numerous school-wide activities and other campaigns. Club meetings are held once a week on Tuesdays for thirty minutes, where the 40 participants come together to acknowledge personal feelings and potential stress-inducing situations.
The significance of educating students about the importance of mental health cannot be understated. An anonymous sophomore at Oceanside High School stated that “Mental health is important and students should pay attention to the issue because (poor) mental health can be dangerous.” Considering this claim, understanding mental health is vital to one’s perception of themselves and the world around them. Therefore, recognizing each other’s internal struggles can help us to understand each other better.
The club runs various campaigns to spread mental health awareness, including a student/faculty volleyball game fundraiser. Students and teachers competed in various volleyball matches followed by the presentation of a check to the Patrick O´Shea Foundation whose mission it is to further expose mental health awareness and knowledge to prevent suicide. The foundation acts as a support system for those in crisis in an attempt to permanently eliminate self-destructive behavior. Campaigns and fundraisers such as this one help to demonstrate that we are all connected.
Sources of Strength is an extracurricular club that provides activities that offer students opportunities to grasp the values of universal responsibility, teamwork, diversity, and endurance. In Sources of Strength, everyone has a voice that is worth hearing.