LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The pandemic has sparked much discussion about mental health. So much so that the central Nebraska school made it their priority on Wednesday school day.
Aurora High School seniors should dress for success on Wednesday. Instead of having a careers and industry fair like the rest of the school did, they spent their mornings speaking and breakout sessions to de-stigmatize mental health. It was a project that had been in the works for four months.
“It’s a big problem that every school in the state faces,” said Doug Kittle, Aurora’s principal.
Kittle aims to find resources for students struggling with mental health.
“Since last March when we looked at distance learning, the number of our students struggling with wellness issues has increased,” said Kittle.
On Wednesday, 93 seniors were able to hear from professionals on a variety of topics, including self-care and strategies for managing anxiety.
“I thought it would be an interesting way to spend the day,” said Cassidy Knust, a senior Aurora woman. “I think it was very beneficial.”
“I was excited that we were going to have a speaker to talk to us about something that for many people, you can’t talk about mental health as much,” said Jeremy Oswald, another Aurora senior.
The seniors said one of the biggest struggles for themselves and their classmates is the fear of the unknown that comes with senior age. They said the pandemic made them worse; Make days like Wednesday important.
“We just thought we had to give our students the opportunity to improve themselves,” said Kittle.
Aurora’s main plan is to make a mental health seminar an annual event and involve the rest of the high school.
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