May is Mental Health Awareness Month


A display about Mental Health pictured in front of Becton’s Gym

Mental Health Awareness Month is celebrated nationwide during the month of May, and Becton will be holding a few events courtesy of our staff here! To start, what does Mental Health Awareness Month entail? What does it celebrate? According to DHCS (Department of Health Care Services), the ultimate purpose of this month is to reduce the stigmas around mental health and seeking treatment. “Without treatment, mental health disorders can reach a crisis point.” It is encouraged to talk with specialists if you are one of the 44 million adults or 17 million teenagers who are struggling with some sort of depressive thoughts. It is also important to remember that help is always available and out there, whether it is through your school counselor or a personal doctor. 

One of Becton’s plans this year is hosted by our School Social Worker, Ms. Michelle O’Neill. She will be visiting all first-year Biology classes and conducting an activity that she describes will “involve exploring common social behaviors that frequently cause a lot of stress, conflicts, and escalations for high school students.” The activity has students decide which behaviors they partake in that they would like to ‘Throw Away or Reuse/Recycle.’ O’Neill decided to visit Biology classes because she would like students to apply their knowledge of the environment to social circumstances in high school. This is especially important for 9th graders, as high school is a completely new environment, and this is why it ties into mental health; knowing your environment and what you want is key to keeping a positive mindset. O’Neill’s overarching goal for this activity is to help students define themselves socially, she says, “High school is about exploring and defining who you want to be socially.”

Up next throughout the month of May, Becton staff will be participating in a district-wide Step Challenge, run by Ms. Sharon Skeahan. This is also tied into Teacher Appreciation Week. It will be conducted through the MoveSpring app, which also has the ability to convert any physical activity such as biking or swimming into steps, so everyone can participate! The top three staff members with the most steps will be awarded a prize, and the department with the most steps earn bragging rights. MoveSpring can sync up to any sort of fitness tracking device, such as Fitbit, Garmin, Withings, and Apple Watch/Apple Health. Alongside this, if you are participating through a Samsung device, you are able to sync your activity via the Google Fit app. Skeahan is also in charge of the Wellness Club, where she plans for the club members to paint pots and plant seeds in them. There are other activities in question, any inquiries in that case would go directly to Skeahan. 

In the near future, we are holding an assembly pertaining to Mental Health, a table with mental health information will be set up for students to browse and take from, a blood drive for students 16 and older is currently being set up, and Spirit Week is underway! May has only just started, so be on the lookout for information on the loudspeaker pertaining to these events.

For help or guidance regarding Mental Health, please browse the resources Becton offers here: Becton Student Support Services.