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St. Marys Catholic High School
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Mental Health and Awareness Team

The Mental Health Awareness Team was a student-led initiative that began in 2013.  The main goal of this club is to promote positive mental health, reduce the stigma around mental health issues and provide students with information about where they can go to for help in the school.

The Mental Health Awareness Team is open all year to anyone in Grades 9 - 12 and the staff advisors are Ms. Shannon Hinnegan (Student Success teacher) and Mr. John O'Connor (Chaplain).  Students are welcome to join this club at any time throughout the school year.

The second Friday of EVERY month is Mental Health Awareness Day.  Students will lead a school wide initiative to get our message out.  We welcome ALL students to this club and want to promote a feeling of inclusivity  and acceptance to all students and staff

We have initiated some of the following in the past:

  • Established the second Friday of EVERY month as Mental Health Awareness Day where members of the team wear the t-shirts designed by graduate, Kendra Doyle and paid for by CMHA and a Speak Up grant (the t-shirts are either black or purple and are to be worn with uniform pants or shorts)
  • Brought in Robb Nash as a guest speaker/performer ($1000 donation for this paid for by the Maskell family who set up a fund at CMHA to promote Mental Wellness after their son completed suicide)
  • Produced a video about the StigmaNOTS, featuring Holly, our therapy dog
  • Spoke at GST assembly
  • Brought in puppy petting days to help reduce stress before exams
  • Purchased books for the library, social worker and chaplain to use as resources for/with students
  • Created a Facebook page for members of the team
  • Ran "reducing Stress" workshops for students (included a kit for each student)
  • Provide participation certificates for all MHAT members
  • Ordered supplies for Mental Health Awareness Days
  • Bought rubber bracelets for everyone in the school - STIGMA IS ISOLATING
  • Have had numerous announcements about Mental illness as well as mental health tips
  • Led a school mass 
  • Successfully ran one fundraiser - movie and pajama day
  • Provided candy canes with a message for each student and staff in the building.  Attached to each candy cane was a positive message
  • Had our first planning day at Maranatha Church
  • Locker stickers with positive messages on EVERY locker
  • Attended a Time 2 Change Minds walk-a -thon
  • Decorated the forum with flowers and butterflies - on them were things students and staff wrote that made them happy
  • Sidewalk chalk at the entrance to the school
  • Boler Mountain ropes course (Outdoor Education grant) for those struggling with mental health issues and members of the MHAT
  • Submitted entries for the contest:  What is a Healthy School?

You may contact Ms. Hinnegan or Mr. O'Connor for more information.

 *Note: check out the new Instagram account: www.instagram.com/smchsmentalhealth