Photo by Abby Blitz

Aromas of warm, freshly brewed tea filled   the RBHS Guidance office after school on Tuesday, Jan. 9 as HOPE club hosted a self-care event aimed at kicking 2018 off with a healthy start for students and staff. Along with tea, HOPE club provided stress-relief activities and a calming atmosphere for all who attended. Club sponsor and outreach counselor Lesley Thalhuber said the function strived to encourage students to have positive mental health and practice positive coping skills.

“HOPE club strives to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention,” Thalhuber said. “The events we sponsor and plan tend to encourage healthy and creative coping skills and spreading kindness as a way to support emotional and mental health in our building.”

Although the self-care event was the first in 2018, HOPE club provided several means of supporting mental health and wellbeing, such as stationing a resource table with suicide prevention hotlines and textlines during lunch shifts and a card-making/kindness tree. Junior Kayla West, President of HOPE club said the self-care event focused on stress relief activities, incorporating different stations such as mindfulness and stress ball making.

“This is the first time we’ve done a self care event combined,” West said. “In the past we have done stress relief coloring, painting and a self love event on Valentine’s Day but not all together.”

While only a small number of students, approximately six, attended the self-care event, West said the number is expected because the semester just began. Throughout the rest of second semester, HOPE club will continue to strive toward their goal of creating a safe and inviting community for everyone at RBHS, and to spread more awareness about mental health and suicide awareness.

“Self-care is essential for all students and adults to maintain health both physically and mentally,” Thalhuber said. “There are so many things people can do in order to improve their self-care such as getting enough sleep, allowing themselves to cry, taking technology breaks, making time for reflection, or spending time in nature.“

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