Bringing Awareness to Mental Health

A Recap of the 2nd Annual Prevention Walk

Senior+Justin+Panopio+adds+a+message+to+Project+Smile%27s+positive+board.+Photo+by+Seemani+Dash

Senior Justin Panopio adds a message to Project Smile’s positive board. Photo by Seemani Dash

Seemani Dash, Copy Editor

On February 22, the community showed up to West High in support of mental health awareness wearing yellow clothes and happy smiles at the second annual Suicide Prevention Walk. Students, parents and local organizations all helped make this event a positive environment where people could learn about the resources around them. Senior Nate Campbell, the student who organized this event, shared his own touching story of losing his uncle to suicide. It led to him wanting to bring awareness to students’ mental health, saying, “I took it into my hands to instead of grieving about it to just make something positive out if it.” The event started with a presentation of colors by students in the JROTC program. Then, people were free to participate in fun activities in the sun as groups of students played with humongous beach balls or drew inspirational messages with chalk. A wall of colorful, positive messages on sticky notes from Project Smile brightened the event while clubs such as K-Pop and the Royal G’s delivered outstanding performances. The combined efforts of Leadership, clubs and community organizations made the event successful. When asked about the goal for the day, Leadership teacher Scott Behnam said, “The biggest thing we want to do is mainstream the idea that if you’re struggling, you have support.”

The Suicide Prevention Walk is one of many steps toward creating West High’s positive atmosphere.