Bellport High School administration and faculty believe that mental health is as important as students’ physical health. During the week of April 29-May 3, the school held its second annual Mental Health Awareness Week to raise awareness of the various and potential mental health needs of students.
Assistant Principal Heather Giacomin explained that the event was the brainchild of four current students who recently lost a friend to suicide. To kick off the week, English language arts classes read an article about mindfulness and received a green bracelet to wear in support of Mental Health Awareness Week. Participants wrote messages of encouragement in chalk on the front walkway and on colorful Post-It squares in the school commons. Freshmen and seniors attended a Ryan’s Story assembly, which talked about bullying, depression and suicide. Sophomores and juniors also attended an assembly with former NFL football player Cliff Crosby, who encouraged students to be where they are supposed to be, set goals, get help when needed and become involved.
“You have to find a way to take care of you,” Mr. Crosby told the audience. “At some point you will need to rely on help.”
Photos courtesy of the South Country Central School District