The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of millions of people. I am one of the many people who has been mentally affected by the social isolation. When I recently hurt my ankle in a soccer game, the period of recovery affected me both physiologically and psychologically. I said to myself, “I can’t be depressed for long,” and explored ways to break out of the stigma of negative thinking. I started reflecting on how to come out of the depression by following several coping techniques I researched online. Then I realized I could also help others gain a new awareness of their own mental health. I thought starting a Psychology club might be a good venue to get my fellow schoolmates connected and learning about the importance of mental health awareness. So, I reached out to one of my teachers who encouraged and supported the concept and they helped me with starting the club.
The club organizes several activities during its meets to cope with stress and practice mindfulness. We have several guest speaker sessions talking about mental health issues and we fundraise for mental health organizations. We raise awareness and spread positivity through social media.
The Club quickly gathered interest and continues to grow as more students are becoming involved and interested in learning more about mental health. Currently the club has over 50 active members.
The club has helped its members by providing a venue for making new friends, especially for freshmen who have limited opportunities to meet their classmates because of remote learning. In our meetings, we have ice breakers to get to know each other and be sociable. The Psych Club is helping our school community by expanding awareness, spreading positivity with daily quotes, making videos focused on ways to cope with stress, depression, and anxiety. The club has provided a platform that helped member’s bridge some of the social distancing we experience due to the pandemic.
I’ve learned to focus more on the positive things and the experience of managing club activities and community service work has taught me kindness and resilience. Learning how I can self-manage a positive attitude has helped me to come out of my own challenges with depression. I have found it rewarding to dedicate time to helping others do the same for themselves.