“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~ Ian Maclaren
On May 5, students at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School united together in honour of Catholic Education Week and Mental Health Awareness Week.
Holding the school’s first ever Day of Solidarity: BT Express Yourself event, Bishop Tonnos’ prolife group, V.O.I.C.E., led the students in an activity that promoted inclusiveness and kindness.
Students were give fluorescent prayer cards and were asked to anonymously answer the following questions: What is something that you are currently struggling with? How does it make you feel? Why? What would you like to see happen?
United in silence, students then came together in prayer to reflect on the messages, which will later be used in the classrooms as motivational posters.
“The goal of this activity is to help students see that while it is tempting to judge others and compare ourselves to others, it is important to recognize that everyone is struggling,” said Rita Salverda, teacher at Bishop Tonnos.
“We must recognize that whether visible or not, we all have a cross to bear. If we can understand this, we can hopefully recognize that we are all human and therefore we are all valuable.”
To conclude, students were then given a chocolate treat with a motivational quotation, as well as the telephone number for Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST), which “provides emergency mental health and addiction services to members of the Hamilton community.”
“Whatever event or feeling we are experiencing, we must remember that it does not define us or our future. We are loved and strong. We must do our best to be kind and compassionate to everyone, including ourselves,” said Salverda.