Uniting for Mental Health at Eastlake High School

Discover how Eastlake High School celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month with impactful events promoting wellbeing, reducing stigma, and providing vital resources to students.

In May, Eastlake High School hosted a series of impactful events for Mental Health Awareness Month, thanks to a robust partnership between the Lake Washington Schools Foundation (LWSF), Eastlake High School (EHS) PTSA, and the EHS Counseling staff. These events were designed to increase student awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing.

Highlight Events and Activities

April 26th: “Loneliness vs Connection” Assembly Discussion

The month kicked off with two assemblies featuring Sheri Gazitt, owner of Teen Wise, who spoke to nearly 2000 students from grades 9 to 12. Her discussion on “Loneliness vs. Connection” resonated deeply with the students, emphasizing the importance of forming meaningful relationships and combating feelings of isolation.

May 2nd: Lunchtime Mental Health Activities

On May 2nd, LWSF collaborated with EHS PTSA and EHS Counseling staff to organize engaging mental health activities to facilitate positive interactions during all lunch periods. Over 350 students also participated in writing words of affirmation on a whiteboard and penned messages of encouragement to friends and staff.

May 7th: Grab-and-Go Breakfast

A grab-and-go and meet-and-greet breakfast event was held on May 7th, with assistance from the EHS baseball team in transporting food and snacks into the school. Approximately 1500 students were welcomed with fresh fruit, water, granola bars, and applesauce packets, all adorned with special mental health awareness stickers. This event was well received, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for students before school started.

May 15th: General Membership Meeting

Sheri Gazitt returned as a guest presenter at the EHS PTSA General Membership Meeting. This session was tailored for Eastlake families, providing an adult version of her assembly presentation on “Loneliness vs. Connection”. The goal was to encourage open conversations about mental health at home, reinforcing the messages shared with students.

The Value of Raising Awareness

The success of these events during Mental Health Awareness Month highlights the importance of continued efforts in promoting mental wellbeing. By fostering open conversations and providing educational resources, students are learning that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. 

 “When we authentically show up for these students, it really does matter,” shares LWSF Trustee and EHS PTSA Board Member, Jen O’Donnell. “There is a gentle comfort found when students know that they are seen and valued.  These mental health awareness activities allow us to meet our students in the spaces they find themselves in, and we are here to say they are not alone.”

Looking Ahead

Eastlake High School, alongside its dedicated partners, plans to maintain this momentum, ensuring that mental health remains a focus throughout the year.

By creating a supportive and informed community, Eastlake High School is paving the way for students to thrive both academically and emotionally. Remember, mental health is just as crucial as physical health, and every conversation, activity, and support effort makes a difference. Let’s continue to support each other every day.

Bonnie is the Communications and Programs Coordinator for Lake Washington Schools Foundation.

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