Mental health advocate to present at OHS


During this week students will have the opportunity to learn more about mental health.

Crystal Garza, Writer

OHS is having a Mental health week for their students and the community. The week of April 24 – 28 includes dress up days for OHS students and a Q&A with Emma Benoit, which will be open to the community on April, 26. at 5:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Benoit is a survivor of a suicide attempt and a mental health advocate. She gained national recognition after sharing her story on social media, through interviews, and has since become a voice for suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Suicide being a tough subject to talk about, individuals often struggle in silence being unable to vocalize their pain. Acknowledging this, schools can help reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage people to seek help when they need it. Schools can also assist people to understand the importance of self-care, just as they would their physical health.

High school students as well as other age groups have been affected by this in the US for many years now, and the numbers just keep increasing. 1.5 million people attempt suicide in the US each year. There are many ways to protect others and oneself. Talking about issues that matter and that are happening helps normalize the conversation. 

Student council members worked together to come up with dress up days and an event for students during the mental health week. Dress up days are: Monday, wear green for depression awareness, Tuesday wear blue for anxiety, Wednesday wear yellow for suicide awareness, Thursday wear purple to represent eating disorders, and Friday put on your comfiest PJs. 

Over the past week OHS Student Council  has gone over the intercom emphasizing if students or friends of students are struggling. It is important to let them know it’s okay to talk about mental health and that they are not alone as this is more common than what most people believe. This week shines a light the teen mental health crisis in America. 

Encourage them to talk to a trusting friend, family, adult or mental health professional. Help is available through the career center, or contact 988 Suicide and crisis lifeline,visit South Central Human Relations Center or Crisis Resource Center of Steele all located and available in Owatonna for more help.