Bring Change to Mind promotes self-love for Valentine’s Day

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Aleyda Contreras

Club members write compliments to each other as vice president Emma Lee glues them on to a poster.

Some days, getting up is difficult.

“But maybe if you tried harder, it’s not so bad.”

“Being sad and anxious is a choice.”

“Just choose to be happy.”

Stigma causes people to feel ashamed of mental health struggles that are out of their control. According to the World Health Organization, half of most mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 10% to 20% of teenagers, globally, struggle with these issues, most of which go undiagnosed and untreated.

Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) is a club working towards creating a safer community, where people can openly discuss their mental health.

“Our mission is to destigmatize mental health topics and make sure people aren’t ashamed of mental illness because of its taboo nature. We want to change the assumption that it shouldn’t be talked about, and instead increase the conversation around it,” said Emma Lee, vice president of the club.

For Valentine’s Day, BC2M promoted self-care and self-love, creating a safe environment for all to experience the joys of Valentine’s Day.

At the meeting on Thursday, Feb. 13, club members made heart-shaped cards with mirrors in the center. On the card, students wrote positive affirmations.

“You are meant to look at yourself through the mirror and be able to tell yourself that you are beautiful,” said Lucy Lennemann, a club member.

Being part of the club helped spread this message of positivity. As they create these positive messages, students encourage each other and show that what they are feeling is not out of the ordinary.

“Being part of the club has given me a lot of confidence in who I am as a person. This confidence helps me speak up about the things I advocate for, that I’m passionate about,” Lee said.

Mackenzi Rauls and Emma Lee started the club in their sophomore year to educate themselves and spread awareness in the local community. Cindy Shusterman, the faculty advisor for BC2M, believes this is a critical issue that must be brought up in the high-stress environment of school.

Pullquote Photo

Being part of the club has given me a lot of confidence in who I am as a person. This confidence helps me speak up about the things I advocate for, that I’m passionate about.”

— Emma Lee

“It’s important to talk about mental health because so many students right now are struggling from crippling levels of anxiety, whether it’s clinical, undiagnosed, or situational. It’s valid, and it matters. If students know how to how to cope with the anxious feelings, then they know how to get out of that anxious place,” Shusterman said.

In addition to this Valentine’s Day meeting, once a week, members meet in C14 to discuss relevant mental health topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, and find ways to raise awareness of these concerns in the community.

“In our club, we do presentations to educate our members. We also try to go out to the public about once a month every other month to do events and educate community members. What we strive to do is educate others about different mental health issues, the mental health community, and how to support people dealing with mental health issues,” said Mackenzi Rauls, president of the club.

Collectively, members take part in spreading positivity in the community — some of the activities the students do involve putting encouraging notes around campus. One of their most recent activities was painting rocks with inspirational messages, and placing them around the school. Rauls hopes that these little affirmations can help support those who are coping with anxious feelings and inspire them to reach out to the community and talk about their struggles.

“I encourage anyone interested in learning about mental health or the community, or anyone just looking to help support others and themselves, to talk about their feelings,” Rauls said.