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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

AV Counselors and NAMI on Campus coordinate Mental Health Awareness Week

Therapy+dogs+were+invited+to+campus+for+every+day+of+Mental+Health+Awareness+Week.
Aileen Hu
Therapy dogs were invited to campus for every day of Mental Health Awareness Week.

From May 13th to 17th, Amador celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week through a week of lunch and Access activities. Amador’s counselors planned the events in collaboration with the NAMI on Campus club.

“The counseling team always likes to put some sort of overarching wellness event each semester. During first semester, we did a wellness week back in October to focus on the dimensions of wellness. And we know May is always mental health awareness month, so we always try to do a student mental health week,” said Jennifer Yu, student support counselor.

Counselors set up different activities each day for students to check out and take part in. The daily themes included mindfulness, self-nurturing, awareness, thoughtfulness, and fun.

“For the lunch activities, we take inspiration from social media and other schools. We see what’s popular, and put a spin to it so it’s engaging,” said Cindy Tovar, wellness center counselor.

The preparation for this week stretched much further back. After NAMI on Campus received some funding from the national NAMI nonprofit organization, they worked together with Amador’s counselors to enhance their planned activities.

“We had plans for this week since way back, but we started working out details right after spring break. The counselors did most of the planning, then NAMI on Campus came in and shared their ideas. They came up with the mental health jeopardy as a way for students to learn and demonstrate what they know about coping strategies,” said Yu.

The Wellness Center hosted a paper star-folding session during Access on Wednesday. (Aileen Hu)

The Access activities included a paper star-folding session at the Wellness Center and a wellness strategy workshop. Many found the paper star-folding activity relaxing as they settled into the rhythmic motions.

“We often talk about how we like to go outside and get a lot of fresh air, so we did the star-folding activity outside by the library. Always staying in classrooms gets boring, so we took advantage of the nice weather and went outdoors,” said Tovar.

This week turned out to be a great resource for many as it was sandwiched between AP testing and finals. Numerous students found stress relief in picking up goodie bags from the activity tables and petting therapy dogs.

“I think this week was a pretty good time to have Mental Health Awareness Week because we have our finals coming up soon and all. Also AP testing is mostly done now so it’s just a fitting time to have these activities and resources,” said Aniketh Tarikonda (‘24).

Amador’s counselors are always searching for ways to support their students and provide helpful resources. Mental Health Awareness Week was an opportunity to remind students to take a break once in a while.

“I just want students to take a moment for themselves. Especially this week with AP tests and finals approaching, it’s a great week to do mental health awareness. I want students to be reminded to take a moment to breathe,” said Yu.

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  • Many students dropped by the activity tables to pick of goodie bags with stress-relieving gadgets.

  • Counselors and NAMI on Campus set up different lunch activities each day.

  • The daily lunch activities often included games and prizes to encourage students to be engaged.

  • Simple acts of appreciation and gratitude were one of the main focuses of this week’s activities.

  • Counselors work to support their students and remind them to take a break every so often.

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