By: Janelle Perez

 

Bring Change to Mind attended an annual summit on Nov. 3 held by the Bring Change to Mind organization and their sponsors, headspace and the Hudson’s Bay Company Foundation.

The summit took place in San Francisco at the Twitter headquarters, where 180 schools from all over the Bay Area came together to talk about ending the stigma behind mental health.

Piedmont Hills joined Independence High School and represented the East Side Union High School District.

“Since ¼ people are affected by mental illness at some point in their life, I want to help others recognize the importance of mental health,” says Bring Change to Mind President Trinh Ho. The summit provides a safe and open environment to all students interested in attending, even those not in the club.

Students did a series of mini-seminars about mental health-related topics along with activities that calm the mind and body, such as yoga and hula hooping. The event also provided therapy dogs, which students were allowed to pet and interact with. Students were also given t-shirts that read ‘The future is stigma free.’ Name tags were provided so students could write their preferred pronoun.

“I think that allowing people to express themselves and be open about who they are, especially in any type of, environment is great,” said Trinh. “It allows people know they are valid and are loved.”

One of the main topics discussed at the summit were Mental Health Rules, such as how someone should react towards a person who is dealing with mental health issues. Issues that are typically avoided were brought up in discussion in an effort to end the stigma against mental health. Attendees also talked about their own schools and the type of support system the students have access to.

“The summit was very exciting, new (to me) and very safe and comfortable,” stated senior Paola Rios, who was a first time attendee.

This environment where students feel safe, comfortable, supported and loved is something that Bring Change to Mind members hope to bring back to their schools. They hope to help contribute to ending the stigma behind mental health and help make school a much safer place.

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