Local High School Student Creates Assembly to Raise Teen Mental Health Awareness

On Thursday, May 23rd during May Mental Health Awareness Month, an assembly was held at Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose, New York, for all students regarding the issue of teen mental health and how to best support one another. 

The assembly was created and organized by Emma Litvinsky, a junior who is a member of Sailors Supporting Sailors, a club at her high school whose purpose is to raise mental health awareness and help student athletes learn how to manage stress.

With the support of Principal Scollins, the assembly occurred over two periods so that all students, from freshmen through seniors, had an opportunity to attend. Emma reached out to Minding Your Mind, a national mental health non-profit organization that provides mental health education to students in kindergarten through college. The mission of the non-profit is to end the stigma and destructive behaviors often associated with mental health issues. 

Through Emma’s partnership with Minding Your Mind, the organization provided a compelling speaker, Kristen, who shared her personal mental health challenges as a teenager and how she learned positive coping skills leading to wellness for her. 

  • To further augment awareness, Emma created a visually impactful exhibit utilizing lawn flags. With the help of members from the Sailors Supporting Sailors Club, on the front lawn of the high school, they planted different colored flags representing teens dealing with different mental health challenges. (See attached photo.) The colors of the flags represented the following issues that adolescents deal with:Blue: Depression
  • Purple: Anxiety
  • Green: Suicide/Suicidal Thoughts
  • Orange: Eating Disorders

The assembly and flag exhibition were so successful that Emma’s school wants to make this an annual event. As Emma says, “Creating an event and a safe space to hear about challenges that we as teens might be facing is really important. I wanted to help foster conversations about mental health so we can support each other and not feel alone when we’re going through a difficult time. Our school wants to do this every year so the hope and healing that come from us supporting one another is a legacy that will continue at Hendrick Hudson.”

Submitted by HH

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