by Austin Dart / firstname.lastname@example.org
PC has begun to fight the ever more common mental health issues present in U.S. teens today with an informational assembly this morning in the auditorium. Speakers included therapists Jeanetta Nieuwsma and Kimberly Eccher from Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services as well as Pastor Brad Meinders from Connect Church of Pella.
The assembly included a brief presentation on statistics surrounding mental disorders and a Q&A that answered student questions ranging from “What causes mental health issues?” to “How do you help a friend who threatens suicide and tells you not to tell anyone?”
According to the video “Break the Stigma” from Children’s Hospital Colorado, people with mental disorders were, until recently, labeled as crazy or shunned from society, and because of this, many people are afraid to talk about it. “We are here to talk about mental health – to break the stigma,” vice principal Greg Wojczynski said. “This should not be hidden, but discussed openly.”
Nieuwsma also announced that PC has partnered with Pine Rest to provide three free visits to the clinic because they know the seriousness of mental health issues.
Many students found the assembly helpful. “I liked how people shared their own stories and were open about it,” one senior said. “They were open and willing to listen to people.”