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The Importance of Mental Health

By: Blake Rabinowitz 

Recently, I was invited to spend the day at the Mental Health Fair hosted by the HHHPTA. First, let me start off by saying it is wonderful that our PTA puts such an emphasis on mental health and provides these events and tools to support our students. 

According to the CDC website, “Poor mental health in adolescence is more than feeling blue. It can impact many areas of a teen’s life…Because many health behaviors and habits are established in adolescence that will carry over into adult years, it is very important to help youth develop good mental health.” 

Furthermore, to show the importance of mental health, our Governor is proposing expanding more mental health services for the youth. In a recent article in Newsday, she is quoted as saying, “Focusing on our kids is critical because they’re our most precious resource and investing in mental health services for the young means they won’t be relegated to a lifetime of needing care later on,” Hochul said. 

I was specifically chosen by our guidance department to show the benefits of writing and journaling when it comes to stress. I was honored that our guidance department had enough faith in me to hold my own workshop and share a booklet of poems I had written to help students navigate through these challenging years. 

As I walked around the fair and explored the different workshops, I was amazed at how many ways there are to take care of your mental health. With three sessions of workshops, each having over nine topics to choose from, there was something for everyone. There were adorable dogs in one classroom, yoga in the next, I walked down the hall a little and there was a workshop on self defense. Many of the classes were aimed at what parents are concerned about as well as what teens are focused on. Then there was the Exhibit Hall that had many community groups set up to talk to parents and students. A few examples were Reach CYA, HHH Library, our guidance department and FoodFitnessPro. With over twenty exhibitors, there was something for everyone. 

As we make our way through high school, taking care of our mental health should always be top of mind. Not just for ourselves, but for our parents too. It is a privilege to be part of a district that recognizes the need for mental health and supplies us with the tools to do so.