Planned Acts of Kindness Club presents Mental Health Speaker Series
February 18, 2021
In an effort to help students strengthen their mental health practices, Los Altos High School’s Planned Acts of Kindness Club is organizing a virtual mental health speaker series with lunch presentations held every other Thursday. The series consists of five talks from mental health counselors, psychotherapists, certified yoga instructors and LAHS teachers, with topics ranging from expressing gratitude and self care to destigmatizing mental health discussions.
“To us, Planned Acts of Kindness doesn’t just mean being kind to others. It means being kind to ourselves, too,” Club President Jeannette Wang said. “We started this series in hopes of equipping our peers and ourselves with the tools to navigate situations regarding our own mental health and stress management, and those of our friends and loved ones.”
In case you didn’t have a chance to join the first presentation, The Talon has got you covered. Keep reading to learn more about information covered in the speaker series.
Stress Reduction and Management Techniques
The Planned Acts of Kindness Club kicked off its Mental Health Speaker Series on Thursday, February 11, with a stress reduction and management techniques talk. The presenters were Foothill College Wellness Coordinator Zaina Hamid, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Lisa Slede as well as their wellness student ambassadors Athenais Mortier and Raven Hayes.
The presentation outlined practical ways individuals can help those around them cope with mental health struggles. Letting others know that you’re present when they need it is one of the proposed strategies. This can be done effectively through following the QPR suicide prevention method: question, persuade and refer. Questioning is allowing the individual to open up and asking them to voice their feelings; persuading is offering professional resources and encouraging them to seek help; and referring is specifically taking the actions to guide them toward help and introducing them to the professionals.
Slede noted that it’s sometimes easy to overlook personal needs, and that “our brains are often wired to stick to the negative.” People subconsciously forget about the positive parts of the day, so Slede’s tip is to make a conscious effort to take in something good for about 25–30 seconds two to three times a day. She also recommends partaking in activities like yoga, mindfulness, meditation and positive affirmations, as well as taking naps to recharge and going outside to help balance mental health in day-to-day life.
The next talk in the series led by LAHS teacher and certified yoga instructor Jodi Hwang is scheduled for Thursday, March 4. This upcoming presentation will focus on mindfulness practice. To sign up, visit this link.
To learn more about Foothill College’s research, advice and wellness resources, visit this link.