Caption: A poster at Lynndale Heights PS promotes wellness
Did you know that many students report experiencing anxiety and stress, every day?
Lynndale Heights PS is helping its students build resiliency and learn strategies to cope with anxiety and stress through a few significant initiatives. Its student council has organized spirit days including Wacky Day (to celebrate uniqueness and individuality), Pink Shirt Day (to show empathy and compassion), and Random Acts of Kindness Day, as well as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.
A number of smaller initiatives are making mental wellness part of the everyday happenings at Lynndale Heights as well.
“Mental Health Mondays include a quick thought or idea on the morning announcements that students can add to their list of strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety,” said Principal Bill Valoppi. “On Wellness Wednesdays, we choose an uplifting song to listen to over the P.A. system at the end of the lunch period to start our afternoon on a positive note, and on Fun Fridays we add a joke to the morning announcements – laughter is good for the soul.”
Teachers and staff are an important focus of the initiatives, too. “Health moments are now a regular part of staff meetings,” said Valoppi. “In December, we learned breathing techniques for reducing stress and anxiety.”
Four members of the Lynndale staff have also completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), a model which has saved and changed hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.