In California, 65 percent of youth with a Major Depressive Episode (MDE) did not receive treatment in 2019.
The Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) Club is bringing awareness to the problem of stigmatized and untreated mental health problems through their campus activities, club meetings, and outreach events.
“This club talks about the issues directly and addresses how we take action in our community and our school to set us in the right direction towards fixing this problem,” said Sarah Dunwoody, secretary of the BC2M club.
The meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24 discussed ways to deal with stress and academic anxiety as the school starts up again after a long break.
“Today’s meeting was about self-care and meditation. I think when we get back to school, it’s usually pretty intense, trying to settle back into things as well as the rocky start, due to the death of a student here. I think this it’d be helpful in providing students with a way to get the help they need,” said Emma Lee, vice president of the club.
After a brief presentation on the causes of stress and ways to deal with it, Lee led a brief meditation to alleviate tension and relax the body. She used an app called Headspace, which provides themed meditations for different situations, from sudden meltdowns to trying to fall asleep.
The BC2M club is one of many high school chapters across America. The overarching organization not only provides resources like Headspace but also grants for purchasing supplies to do outreach events at the school and in the wider community.
“We are doing more Quad activities, like the ones we did these past few weeks where we posted a question in the Quad, like what does it mean to be mentally healthy, and we’ll have people contribute with post-it notes. Last month we did gratitude ornaments where students write what they are grateful for and you put it in an ornament and decorate it. It’s just things to make people more aware of mental health and the importance of acknowledging it,” Lee said.
The club started in Jan. 2018, beginning with Mackenzi Rauls, the president, and Lee, her vice president.
“We started as of last January, and it was around 15 people, most of whom were just my friends. But since we began this year, and because of club fairs, we’ve been able to expand to other students that I don’t know as personally,” Rauls said.
The club has faced an uphill climb since it started, due to its beginnings as an unofficial club.
Rauls said, “Last year, we weren’t an official club and we were limited on the things we were able to do. This year, we were able to advertise at clubs fair, and get a grant from the organization so we could provide a more quality experience for our club.”
Along with distributing resources to the various chapters, the BC2M organization also holds annual summits, where chapters can meet and collaborate on various mental health activities.
“I was really inspired to bring some of the ideas [shared at the summit] to my own club. We were split into random groups where we talked to different people we didn’t know. We talked about our clubs, ideas, and dreams. It was a really nice and interesting experience that I wish more people from my club got to experience,” Rauls said.
Rauls wants to take her experiences and connections from the summit to bring a wider-reaching event to Carlmont.
“When we went to the summit, there were different clubs from around the Bay Area. We got to talk to a lot of different people there. We’re hoping to collaborate with those people to do a big event at the end of the year to showcase all the things we’ve done,” Rauls said.
For now, she wants to focus on what the club is all about: the de-stigmatization of mental health issues.
“It’s different from [Students Offering Support] and counseling in that it’s not a counseling service or a form of therapy. It’s more educational. We teach people how to be mindful about mental health so they can go out into their communities and talk about it,” Rauls said.