Mental Health Week: You Matter

The annual Mental Health Day, held by SCIE Red Cross made October 15tha special day with warmth and hope- when people gather and share their inner thoughts and happiness through SCIE Tree Hole and Thanksgiving Wall, as well as learning professional knowledge on certain mental diseases.

Classrooms were already well-arranged when students arrived. The Thanksgiving wall could be seen at first sight, where people write down things they want to give thanks to on sticky notes and put them up upon the bulletin board at the back of the classroom. Covered in colorful notes, the loving and gratefulness of the wall are overwhelming. Sometimes it is simply amazing to give thought to the so many things that we can give thanks to, perhaps to a teacher who encouraged you while you were down, perhaps to a stranger who returned your long-lost ID card, perhaps to a peer who generously helped you with schoolwork, perhaps parents, perhaps colleagues, perhaps simply how beautiful the flowers were, or how brightly the sun was shining.

At where the off-line part of the SCIE Tree Hole was held, anonymous negative slips were printed out and put into two boxes for people to draw out and write their warm responses on the back side of the slip. The slips carry the thoughts and troubles that people probably don’t release in daily life and just let them accumulate helplessly. People who wrote the responses were given the name of “Night-watchman”, for their torches of goodwill and hope light up the desperate night sky. The slips were then stuck onto the board for people who wrote the negative slips to find in accordance with the numbers they assigned to themselves. It was an absolutely new and interesting experience to get to know of and try to resolve the sorrows of a complete stranger for the Night-watchman, and undoubtedly the comfort and satisfaction of the troubled ones provided was immense.

Closely related to the SCIE Tree Hole was the small drama about depression performed by members of SCIE Red Cross. As more and more suicides come into the public’s view, mental diseases are gradually gaining more attention as a threat to happy life, with depression playing a major role within. The organizers researched thoroughly on depression and presented the small drama in the form of dialogue, involving people having a conversation with one person with depression. The audience was asked to guess who is the one with depression according to the behavior, and who guessed right can have a small present. Feeling depressed, they told us, is not a thing to be ashamed of or to hide from. Everyone has the right to be depressed every once in a while, and this kind of emotion should be treated carefully by professional doctors. Empathy, caring and love are the best cure for the negatives.

As mental illnesses leading to physical ones, eating disorder is the first thing to talk about. Group members of eating disorder put up posters and presenting information on the various types of disorders, including bulimia, anorexia and so on. Charts showing the calories that different foods contain were introduced to the audience. The ideas of healthy diet and body shame were the highlight of the lectures. Learning to love and care for your body is the key to avoid unhealthy eating habits like eating too little, too much, or unregularly. It is normal to have any kind of body, and your body is always precious and worth loving no matter what others say. Snacks were provided, too.

Family relationships is a topic that is coming more debatable than ever. How does the original family affect a child’s, regarding intelligence, character, sexuality, etc.? Does every successful person come from a loving family? Postcards were offered for audiences to depict that what, from their perspectives, makes an ideal family; or to write down some unspoken words to their own family members. Audiences can also draw elements involving family on balloons, plus watching a melodrama to detect the family problems presented in the scene; audiences can get directly involved by being one of the actors or the director to reorganize the melodrama to resolve the problems. Many pupils were involved in the warm activities, and exchanged ideas on how to maintain a friendly relationship with parents and siblings; for example, negotiation techniques. Families, they stated, are the warmest and strongest bonding that will ever be with us.

Phobia is yet another topic waiting for people to discover and discuss. Fear has always been a sensitive topic but attention must be focused upon it in consideration of people’s mental health. To face the fear deep within our hearts, we must learn about it first. Members of Phobia organized two activities to introduce the illness. By sorting out cards and asking the audience to pick the one correspondent to the ones that the members were holding, they presented different phobias to the public, like acrophobia-fear for heights, glossophobia-fear for public speaking…..Another game, “Don’t Do It Challenge”, involved people trying out challenging things if they lose. By learning and exploring fear itself, the things that we tend to fear seemed to have disappeared.

At last but not least we came to the part where every student, no matter much or less, has been affected for sure—peer pressure. It is impossible not to have peer pressure—no matter appearance, schoolwork, competition, hobbies, and so on. However, it is crucial for people to know that, pressuring yourself will not bring you the talents and achievements of others that you envious, but only making life more miserable. The true method of keeping pressure away is to stand up and get your own things done, thus improving yourself day by day and eventually becoming the person that you admire most. The group members provided squishy toys to lessen pressure for the audiences and stationery for people to draw on. Entertaining and art by a certain amount is truly the key for people to relax plus keep them only to themselves for a while and not to worry about outsiders.

“Embrace your universe”, as is said on the “Tree Hole”. We want to encourage you to love and respect yourself, to find the inner glow of your hearts and ignite both you and others with warmth and happiness. The universe that you have, unique to any other human being on earth, is also full of starlight and wonder. If you find yourself too tired of running upon the ground, why not take a look at your own world—see it, feel it, embrace it, love it. With all your heart.