Campaigns in focus: Be Your Own Hero

#VicSRCvoices: What do superheros, stickynotes and lemonade have in common? Liang Xue, 16, shares Suzanne Cory High School's approach to Mental Health Awareness Week and the importance of unpacking emotions. Key to their campaign - that no one needs to struggle alone. 

First published in Connect (#214-215).

Mental Health Awareness Week at Suzanne Cory High School

WHAW 2015 started off on Monday the 7th of September with an assembly presentation by the SRC team and school psychologists (Josh and Dru). We unpacked the reasons why we chose to hold all our emotions in. Our school’s wellbeing staff reminded us how they are here for each of us during the struggles we face, and most importantly the struggles we do not need to face alone.  It was a way to slowly get students thinking about the value of genuine conversations and support.

After school on the Monday, we helped to stay back after school to put up sticky notes on the student lockers of Suzanne Cory. We ran around with a gust of energy, reading and laughing at the bad puns and jokes we wrote, and resonating with the inspirational quotes. The next morning when students came to their lockers, they were greeted with a sticky note which hopefully brought a smile to their faces.

During Wednesday lunch time in the auditorium, we screened “The pursuit of Happyness”. It was a relaxing lunch time spent watching Will Smith and his son progressing through the emotional story line. On the Thursday was national ‘R U OKAY day?’ it reminded our school community the importance of conversations. When we have regular face to face conversations with each other, it helps create a positive chain of reactions. When we ask the question, and readily awaiting the answer without judgement; our friends know that they are able to comfortably come and talk us whenever they need.

At our first Cory Con on the Friday, we carried out the theme of ‘Be your own hero’. Students were encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from a book, comic, movie or TV show. It helped us realize how that we are as strong as superheros.

We are like the people we admire, much like us they face hardships too, and have the strength to pick themselves back up again.  At lunch, the SRC team set up a lemonade stand, for students to come along and have a free drink, get a Beyond Blue wrist band and ribbon badge in support of positive mental health. The doors of the Agora were also opened, we shifted out some of the tables to the area outside for students to sit and enjoy their lunch or have a picnic with their friends in the great weather. Although the Mental Health Awareness lasted for a week, the messages it sent will last for a lifetime – to be there for each other through the our good and bad days.

It was a week that took a term to plan, but passed very quickly. Massive thank you to the SRC team , Ms Chui , Mr Ryan , Josh & Dru , along with the countless of students and teachers for supporting the idea from the start to the very end.

- Liang Xue, Suzanne Cory High School SRC and #VicSRCvoices contributor

#VicSRCvoices is a rolling series driven by the stories and experiences of student representatives. It’s about who we are; what we value; what drives us to act; and what fuels our passions to advocate for what we believe in.

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