Good Mental Health Focus of Eden Workshops
If you break a leg, the injury and the need for appropriate treatment is readily apparent.
For those living with mental illness, the connection is not always so obvious.
In late February through early March, Eden High School in St. Catharines hosted a series of workshops designed to create a conversation around mental illness and reduce the stigma many students feel burdened with when seeking help.
Supported by a grant from the Dare to Dream foundation, the “Eden Talks” initiative brought in a variety of expert speakers and presenters to educate students about mental illness and different aspects of healthy living.
Sessions covered topics such as stress, anger management, healthy relationships, yoga and coping strategies. “Our hope is this series of workshops helped to empower students so they don’t have to suffer in silence,” said Toby Marr, Eden teacher.
Parents also have an important role to play in supporting their children. Some of the strategies suggested through the various workshops included:
- Being available to talk
- Encouraging a break from pressures with physical activity or a hobby
- Praise your teen when they do well. This builds confidence and self-esteem.
- Teaching teens how to keep things in perspective and 'let go' of the little things
- Show teens how to focus on the positive by listing the benefits and opportunities created by a situation, rather than the problems
- Getting your teen help if needed
Keynote speakers at the event included Kevin Breel, a writer and stand-up comic who has experienced mental illness, and Dr. Perez, chief of the Niagara Health System’s mental health and addictions program.
Stand-up comic Kevin Breel talks to Eden students about his struggles with mental illness.