This week, students at Caldera High School will focus on wellness and mental health as part of a school-wide Wellness Week in conjunction with National Mental Health Awareness Month. Students will participate in daily challenges related to wellness (“Movement Monday” and “Thankful Thursday” for instance), which will culminate in a Wellness Expo Fair Friday, featuring more than 50 wellness sessions led by staff members as well as booths from community partners sharing resources and information about mental health.
Caldera counselors Jess Calbreath and Lesley Zavala organized the effort alongside a Wellness Committee, made up of fellow staff members. Their goal was to keep the project’s focus light and fun.
“We don’t want students to feel intimidated because it says mental health. It doesn’t have to be about struggles, we wanted to focus on overall wellness and how we take care of ourselves and what we do to connect with one another,” said Zavala.
During the expo, staff members will lead a wide range of wellness sessions like rock painting, relaxation reading, cooking for fun, weaving, pickleball and more.
“We are showing students some low-stress tools they can add to their toolkits to take care of themselves,” said Calbreath. “This is also another opportunity for us to show students how we want to connect with them.”
The counselors teamed up with students in Caldera leadership classes to organize the effort and help promote it.
“We want to bring awareness to people about mental health and how we can help people with that,” said Ninth-grader Avary Arment. “This is the week before finals, so it’s great timing to help students relieve stress.”
Ninth-grader Akela Utu likes that the wellness week is not just talking about mental health, but instead is about action, activity and connection. Akela hopes students “feel a little bit less stressed and learn some coping strategies” after the focus on wellness this week.More about student mental health: Bend-La Pine Schools offers many resources to support student mental health. A few of these include: school counselors, FirstStep app, YouthLine, Student Success intervention, ongoing staff training and more.