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Next week, MCPS will be holding Mental Health Awareness Week for students to enjoy fun wellness activities and learn more about the importance of prioritizing their mental health.

The WJ Wellness team has collaborated with the two largest student-run mental health clubs, Sources of Strength and Uplift WJ. The plan is an action-packed week of spirit days and events during lunch.

Catherine Kennedy, the school’s social worker hired earlier this year, hopes that the students understand the value of the upcoming week.

“Just showing students that we’re here, so the psychologists, myself, the social worker, the counselors, kind of getting out there and introducing ourselves and being out there so students can see how many there are of us,” Kennedy said.

On Monday, the week is starting off with efforts to meet Kennedy’s goal with a WJ Wellness Team meet and greet. Students will be able to introduce themselves to their counselors and other important staff members who strive to create a safe and supportive school environment.

“A lot of students don’t know that they can access [us] for mental health support or access us so we can connect them with supports that they need,” Kennedy said.

In addition to the unique activities being held during lunch, each day corresponds with a key mental wellness value: awareness, gratitude, “Be Kind to your Mind and Others,” “it’s OK to Not be OK” and notably, inclusivity. To celebrate inclusivity, students are encouraged to wear rainbow colors while participating in the Walk for Wellness during lunch on the Stadium Track.

“I’m super excited for the Walk for Wellness and you know, hoping that with all of the students [such as] WJ Uplift and Leadership and SGA promoting it that there will be a turnout,” Kennedy said.

Each facet of the school community has worked hard to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy, each emphasizing the benefits of maintaining a healthy mind.

“A lot of people are going through mental health struggles and [should know] that there are supports for them, and they’re not alone, and it’s okay not to be okay and you know, just being able to connect with the trusted adults or the people that can guide them in the right direction,” Kennedy said.

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