South supports students with a mental health kit


Graphic by Grace Clark

Kris Blumberg and Gabrielle Yap

When one gets injured, they have a first aid kit to fall back on. This same concept went into creating a mental health kit, a kit to support students in reminding them of their mental wellness, according to junior Luka Heidari. SAFE club and Elpida, both mental health- focused clubs at South, collaborated to create these kits as a response to the difficulties of the pandemic. The kits will be distributed to every student at South Monday,  May 24, in Block 1 classes.  

“We thought the kits would be a great way of reminding everyone the importance of having a positive mindset as we go into summer and move towards normalcy from what’s been pretty crazy,” Heidari said.

Each kit will include stickers that promote positive mental health, a stress ball in the shape of a star, a fidget ring, candy, a phone wallet, a community resource card and a green ribbon temporary tattoo that symbolizes mental health awareness. The Glenview Northbrook Coalition for Youth (GNCY) was a main coordinator for the kits and provided items for the kits such as the star stress balls. The GNCY is an organization that helps teens affected by substance abuse and addresses other issues that affect one’s mental health. These items chosen for the kits were curated by the student members of SAFE club and Elpida, according to Elpida sponsor Lucas Osterbur. 

“We wanted [these kits] to be something for students, from students,” Osterbur said. 

Mental health awareness has been a focus at South in light of the pandemic. Supporting students and reducing the stigma of mental health has been part of this focus according to Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel. 

“Positive mental health is the foundation of student success,” Fagel said. “Students can only learn and be productive in their studies if they are feeling safe, confident, positive, and healthy.”

Take care of yourself and others is the main message behind the kits, according to Elpida sponsor David Hartman. Recognizing that help is available to those who need it is also a part of this message.

“Mental health is key to overall health, being a good student and being a Titan, “ Hartman said.