PCLG parents have been spending some time these past few months learning about student-driven mental health awareness groups at area high schools. It’s truly inspiring to hear how teenagers are leading efforts to erase stigma, create positive environments, and drive change in their schools and communities. Hats off to these students!
Silver Ribbon Campaign (SRC) – South High School, Minneapolis
SRC is a student-led group dedicated to supporting and educating students whose lives are touched by mental illness or who want to positively influence school culture. SRC was founded 11 years ago by two students who had family members suffering from mental illness. SRC holds about 18 1-hour events throughout the year, most of which are held during the school day and involve invited speakers (students, teachers, and outside guests).
The group learns about mental health issues and has a field trip to the capitol each year to learn about advocacy and the legislative process. Many students attend conferences and other meetings as representatives of SRC.
Silver Ribbon Club – Washburn High School, Minneapolis
The Silver Ribbon Campaign is a student led group focused on reducing stigma and raising awareness around mental illness issues. “We make it ok to talk about not being ok.”
Students check in with each other and the group’s advisor at meetings but primarily work on planning mental health awareness activities, such as:
- Guest speakers for students and also evening events for parents
- Fidgety Fairy Tales performance
- “Above the Influence” Campaign: Avoiding the pitfalls of peer pressure
- Text number with free app for Washburn students to ask questions
- Glass display case with information about depression and anxiety
- Create of a video Public Service Announcement
- Volunteered for other organizations that help teens with mental illness
HEART, Wayzata High School, Wayzata,MN
HEART is a student task formed a year ago by a student leader in response to a series of tragedies. Their main focus has been to create a positive school climate and raise mental health awareness, particularly for those students who might otherwise be overlooked or not connected to school activities.
They sponsored a Mental Wellness week, leveraging support from local businesses, the Student Council, National Honor Society and other existing student groups.
- “Pay It Forward Day” – Students earned wristbands for doing good deeds
- Professional and student panels and mental health workshops
- Photo booth – Students held cards that answered the question “How do you do wellness?”