Uniacke District School shines light on mental health

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MOUNT UNIACKE: For the second year in a row, students at Uniacke District School spent an entire week focusing on mental well being, mental health issues and awareness.

Taking part in nutrition talks, art workshops, nature walks, and more, students had lots of outlets to learn from.

“It is a great week for students with so many varied experiences for them,” said Principal Mark Peveril. “I counted and there are over 50 different workshops for them to participate in all dealing with many different aspects of wellness. We have keynote speakers coming in to share their own wellness experiences for example we had a teacher talk with students today about his experience with his life and his medical issues and how they were overcome and he got to be here today.”

Robert Upshaw spoke on his experience as an African Nova Scotian, as well as a social activist. National boxing champion Wyatt Sanford also spoke to the students.

Olympian Tracy Cameron spoke at Uniacke District School during the Mental Health Awareness fair, expressing how proper health and nutrition can impact not just physical well being, but over all wellness.
(Cameron photo)

“The week is so important for the kids as it involves staff, students, professionals, and community members in roles that are different than what they would normally see them in. This will be an experience that they can take with them moving forward,” said Peveril.

Beginning as a conversation among staff members, the second annual event blew away expectations.

“It started as a conversation among the teachers around the social emotional well being of students. Because of our location, teachers wanted to bring these experiences to the students as it is hard to bring the students to them in all cases. We want students to have these experiences to help them develop into people who will pay it forward and add to our citizenry. This fits with the provinces overall goals to promote social emotional wellness in schools today,” added Peveril.

“At the end of the day this has come together because of the desire by the teachers for these experiences to be offered to the kids in the school. This has been a group effort by the teachers to get this off the ground. They have have planning and organizing since September and have made many efforts to make this week a success.

“There has been numerous meetings lots of scheduling, and calling community resource to put this together. This also is completely dependent on the presenters who have come in and offered of themselves their experiences and talents to share with the kids.”