Coming back in person this school year has been hard for everyone, but clubs like Our Minds Matter are here to help. With the rise in mental health concerns over the past 10 years, clubs like Our Minds Matter have been helping students learn how to properly cope with the things life throws at them.
As one of the club presidents Maya Adams said, “I feel like it [joining OMM] made me able to talk about my mental health more because before I just felt like it was something I couldn’t talk about. But through this club I’ve really opened up about my feelings and thoughts and how I’m really feeling in general. It’s also really helped me step out of my shell.”
Our Minds Matter’s main focus as a group is to “Bring awareness to a lot of mental health issues,” said Adams. “We really wanna eliminate the negative stigmas about mental health. When people talk about depression or mental health it’s seen as being looked down upon. What we really wanna do is change that stigma. We really just want to make it more of a normal topic to talk about.”
However, Our Minds Matter didn’t originate at Atholton. It’s a world-wide organization that’s been around since 2012 formally known as the Josh Anderson Foundation. Josh Anderson died by suicide in 2009 at the age of just 17. The organization changed the name to Our Minds Matter in 2020 to better establish its mission and brand of putting a stop to teen suicide.
The branch at Atholton had their first meeting back in November with the Co-President Kai-Lin Yu saying, “It went really well, I definitely wish we could get some more people to come. We had a lot of really great conversations about mental health in general and how everyone is doing. We also kind of outlined the plans for what we want to do.”
The meetings tend to be focused more on group activities and learning coping skills rather than individual help. However, Adams said that, “If someone is reaching out to us for help then we will help them more individually.” She also mentioned that the club has what they call a “Circle Talk” to start off every meeting, “We set up chairs in a circle, and basically just talk about life and different topics. Our discussion topic for the first meeting was how are you dealing with the change from online school to in person school. So every time we have a new topic or whatever anyone wants to talk about.”
The club also plans on “implementing a mental health round table sometime during Raider Time,” Yu said. Having this round table would allow everyone to “come in, even people who aren’t even in OMM to talk about mental health since that’s a prevalent issue right now.” Yu also mentioned that the club also would like to make and put up “posters about mental health, crisis text lines, or just resources that we could hang around school to get the word out.”
Caring for your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health. Our Minds Matter is a club for anyone and everyone. Yu recommends that everyone should join Our Minds Matter because, “it’s a very chill club. It’s kinda like a self care activity. You have fun, make friends, and learn about mental health. I think it’s like a fun place to chill-lax after school.”