Students at Bishop James Mahoney High School are doing their part to raise awareness for World Mental Health Day.

Kaylee Baun is a Grade 10 student at the school and an avid hockey player.

Last year she suffered a back injury that put school and hockey on hold.

“It was really difficult and hard for me to cope with it,” she said.

She understands now, more than ever, her mixed emotions during the injury were okay.

“It is totally normal to have any of these thoughts and any of these emotions you go through every day,” she said.

As part of World Mental Health Day, Baun helped plan a series of sessions to spread awareness and help debunk myths around mental health.

Sessions include:

  • Mindful Yoga: Vinyasa Yoga
  • Art Therapy: SCYAP
  • De-stress Walk: students will be walking in the community with posters promoting awareness
  • Q & A session and Kahoots mental health facts, developed and delivered by the U of S fourth-year nursing students
  • Laugh Therapy

Mental health and addictions is one of the courses offered at her school.

Research from the World Health Organization shows half of all mental illness begin by age 14, but that most cases still go undetected and untreated.

The school principal, Kim Pasloski, says the Grade 10 class was the perfect group to coordinate the day.

“That’s the greatest part of it. They’re the ones who are kind of dealing with it and living with it and we’re just happy to be able to provide that opportunity and bring that awareness and mental health literacy to our staff and students.”

Baun says she hopes her schools initiative will make more students comfortable discussing mental health and that studying the topic in school has given her a new sense of confidence to share her experiences.