Mental Health among teenagers - Matthew Blows from Rondebosch Boys' High School gets real about it.
A mental health awareness committee was formed last year at Rondebosch Boys’ High School, in light of various cases of suicides in Cape Town as well as October being South Africa’s Mental Health Awareness month. The suicides didn’t make sense to us and we knew something needed to be done. We agreed that the path to darkness had to start somewhere and we thought of what we’d do to reach out to people.
The goals of our Mental Health Awareness Campaign are as follows:
· To break the stigma associated with mental health
· To create awareness through mental health education
· To create a community of support where students feel accepted as they are
· To allow sufferers to speak up without fear of being judged
We hosted an Open Discussion about mental health where we invited high school students to join us. That afternoon after school was inspiring – chatting about something not often brought up and being real about it. We’ve had follow up meetings where we’ve also expanded our conversation and learnt what other school’s approach to mental health is.
Looking forward, we know more needs to be done. We’re all in this together.
The UN defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The mental aspect of what it means to be healthy is too often overlooked and we intend on changing that.
For more information about this Open Discussion, please contact Swim For Change - firstname.lastname@example.org .
Matthew Blows, Grade 12. Rondebosch Boys High School.