By Kelly Duffy-Kariam
School Social Worker
For the past couple of years, the Health Action Team (HAT) at St. Mary has been focused on raising awareness about mental illness. Talking about mental illness is key to decreasing stigma and helps students feel more comfortable seeking out help when they need it. Last years’ theme was “kindness.” A simple act of kindness toward another can be a game changer or even life-saver for someone who might be struggling with mental illness. Jesus calls us to serve others, and there is a no greater way to serve than to be kind, caring, non-judgmental and compassionate toward one another.
In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10th, and in keeping with the theme of kindness, the St. Mary school community of students and staff were invited to chalk out a positive message or pledges on the sidewalks surrounding the school. Under sunny skies, period 4 classes were busy posting beautiful messages for a successful “Positive message chalk talk” awareness building event.
Examples include “Love YOURSELF,” BeYoutiful,” “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” “Be Accepting,” “Remember everyone has a Story,” and many more. Once again, St. Mary came together as a caring Catholic community to show support and care for one another.