[dropcap style=”light” size=”4″]E[/dropcap]very morning, outreach counselor Lesley Thalhuber sits in her office and makes a post on the RBHS homepage. This post contains an idea to encourage students to do a random act of kindness for the day. Thalhuber believes the gesture can bring a positive aspect to students’ days, which is better than exploiting negative news.[quote]“I am madly obsessed with the idea of a simple act of kindness being able to change people’s lives. I think it’s pretty powerful, and people don’t think of it as a powerful thing, but it really does protect everybody’s emotional and mental health,” Thalhuber said. “If we were just all nicer to each other, there would be no bullying and violence in our school. It’s just a proactive way to tackle that. I get tired of hearing about the negative stuff going on at school, so this is my way to talk about it in a more positive way.”[/quote]
Posting content encouraging positive vibes isn’t the only action Thalhuber takes to improve RBHS’s social environment. She also leads Hope club, a group that aims to bring attention to mental hygiene.
“The hope club is meeting the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.. We promote positive coping strategies, mental health awareness, suicide prevention [and] substance abuse prevention,” Thalhuber said. “I hope this club, first off, provides education for people who maybe make inaccurate assumptions about mental health, and I hope it promotes a kinder culture in general because our club believes kindness can help people’s emotional and mental health which is nice.”
Like the Hope Club, there are many other RBHS clubs that promote general wellness. Key Club offers high schoolers an opportunity to become leaders through various types of services. This club influences not only the club members’ well-being, but also the people they serve by volunteer work and helping the community to be better as a whole.
Sophomore and Key Club secretary Caroline Curtright, a junior, believes Key Club offers great experiences for students looking for a boost in their state of mind.
“By serving others as a large group, many friendships are made with other members, ultimately improving the mental health of the people involved,” said Curtright, who noted Key Club will serve at the food bank, Voluntary Action, Ronald McDonald House and others. Key Club helps make our city and our world a much better place.”
In contrast to the Hope Club and Key Club, which both help nurture members’ mental wellbeing, Tanya Ramadoss, junior and co-creator of the Future Medical Professionals Society (FMPS), takes the idea of a healthy lifestyle more literally.
“Along with encouraging students into the medical field, we raise money for various fundraisers each month and volunteer at community events for a different topic each month,” Ramadoss said. “For example, we’re doing things for Breast Cancer in October. We are planning on having one or more months dedicated to wellness and health this year.”
Ramadoss’ club works to spread information about important issues surrounding disease. FMPS encourages students to learn about themselves and what they can do to stay fit.[quote]“This club has helped me learn plenty about various diseases and the steps I can take to prevent them,” Ramadoss said. “When I learn about the serious consequences of getting a certain illness, it personally motivates me to move towards a healthier lifestyle so I’ll decrease my chance of me getting sick.”[/quote]
With clubs focused on both physical and mental wellness, Thalhuber is optimistic about the continuation of health awareness at RBHS. She hopes there is a brighter future ahead and, by spreading kindness and awareness, more people can have a happier life.
“[The Hope Club], to me, seems like a very proactive way to approach mental health and a way to normalize people’s experiences,” Thalhuber said. “We want people to know they’re not alone.”
What clubs do you participate in? Do they contribute to your healthiness? Comment down below.