During quarantine, I’m sure it’s been hard for some students to look on the bright side of life. We need to remember that while in quarantine, mental health is very important. Santiago High School student Morgan Klatt (11) is taking action to help students that struggle with their mental health. This mental health club is called “Vibe Tide” and in order to inform students about this club, I thought I’d ask Morgan some questions.
Why do you think it’s important to have a mental health club?
“I think that it is important to have a mental health club in order for students to be able to connect with one another in order to understand that they are not alone. Personally, I have struggled with anxiety as well as depression and it was difficult feeling like I was the only one going through this until I heard of my friends going through the same struggles. Not only will this club be able to help students cope with their mental health but also give them a space to come to the realization that they are not alone and there are people who truly care for and want the best for them. It’s about students empowering other students.”
What activities do you have planned for this club in the future?
“In the future, we hope to incorporate games, to allow the students to connect with one another and develop friendships, as well as create topics of discussion based off a video we watch or something that is prevalent in our world. One activity we did in our first meeting which I loved was called “rose, thorn, bud”. Simply put, each student had to think of something that happened throughout their day that was good-rose, bad-thorn, and something they were hopeful for the next day-bud. This activity really allowed students the opportunity to discuss how their day was while giving them hope for tomorrow if the day hadn’t been so great.”
Why did you start this club or why were you interested in it?
“I was interested in starting this club because I have struggled with mental health throughout my life. I was looking to see if there was anything at school I could attend to help me but I was unable to find anything. It bothered me that our school didn’t offer more for students with mental health difficulties to connect with one another so I decided to create the group that I had been envisioning, of one where students just talk with other students.”
Do you have a goal for this club and if so, what is it?
“I don’t necessarily have a tangible goal, but I just want the students to attend to feel worthy and loved. I want friendships to develop in order for everyone to have someone to turn to when things get tough, whether they come to me or someone else with whom they have formed a bond. Each meeting I want to try to alleviate a bit of the stress or loneliness that students may be feeling and give them a space to relax as well as learn how to help themselves.”
During the pandemic are there going to be zoom sessions?
“Yes, there is! We had our first meeting Tuesday, March 9 from 1-2. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 16 from 1-2. We are hoping to keep meeting on Tuesdays from 1-2 but we might have to change depending on whether or not we go back to school.”
What will be going on during the zoom sessions?
“In the zooms we will be starting off by just having a discussion about how we have been feeling the past day or week, using the “rose, thorn, bud” methodology. Each week will be a bit different but we might just play a game one week, while the next week we watch a video about self-care or how to manage stress then discuss it. I am also trying to incorporate a few minutes of mindfulness each session in order to give everyone an opportunity to take a breath from the busyness of the day.”
What is your advice to people that are mentally not at their best but are too scared to ask for help?
“First I’d like to say that I totally understand how scary it is to talk to someone, especially an adult about your mental health. I would suggest confiding in a friend if possible, someone that you are close to and feel comfortable sharing that information with. Maybe even writing a letter to your parents or an adult so you don’t have to bring up the topic in a conversation. This question is another reason I created Vibe Tide. With the lifestyle we are in now, with our meetings on zoom, you don’t have to show your face or even unmute yourself. You can also utilize the chat or have private conversations with others so you don’t feel uncomfortable. I think the most important thing is to take baby steps when it comes to asking for help. Maybe just writing down how you are feeling but not showing it to anyone. Bringing up the topic of mental health without making it personal. Even though it may take time, just building up oneself enough to acknowledge that they need help is huge. After someone is able to recognize that, any counselor at school would be ready and willing to help them. If someone does not feel comfortable talking to their parents, I think talking to a friend or counselor is the first step towards getting help.”
These were Morgan’s responses to my questions if you have anything other question or are wanting to join this club you can email Morgan through her school email [email protected]