Throughout the month of January, Middle School students will be exploring the topic of Mental Health. Students have been exposed to this topic through their guidance classes, health curriculum, and class presentations during Thursday morning assemblies.
The research shows that approximately 1 in 5 youth in Ontario experience challenges with mental health. It has been found that early intervention is critical, and leads to improved academics and healthier outcomes. It is important for young adolescents to understand the importance of caring for their own mental health, looking out for one another’s well being, and how to ask for help from a trusted adult.
It has been hypothesized that time spent outdoors is an important piece of a healthy, mentally fit, lifestyle. Doctors in Japan and North America are even experimenting with prescribing time in nature to treat anxiety, depression and attention disorders.
We thought it would be important to practice what we preach and allow the opportunity for Middle School students, with their homeroom advisors, to put a coping strategy into practice and spend time in nature to see the positive effects on their mental health first hand.
During advisor sessions on Monday, January 14th and Monday, January 28th all Middle School students will be headed outdoors to explore this concept. Students will be encouraged to walk, run, and just “be” in nature. This will help us explore the importance of spending time outdoors and the positive effect it has on our mental health and well being.
In order to be able to fully enjoy and participate in this initiative, it is important that the students come dressed and ready for the weather. Full Outdoor Education gear will be needed!
We look forward to getting outside and seeing what some time in nature can do for us.