PHOTO: From left to right, Seniors Lucy Knudsen, Catie Fee, Gaby Tad-y, Sophia Fingerman, Sophie Purves and Sydney Moore share the importance and stories regarding mental health in the Davis High Brunelle Hall.
By Emily Chapman,
[Trigger Warning: The following article includes description of self-harm.]
With what started as an idea suggested to the Davis High Student Government class last year, Senior Lucy Knudsen orchestrated an assembly regarding mental health during lunch on Friday, Jan. 17.
Taking place at the DHS Brunelle Hall, the assembly was narrated by student coordinator Knudsen and included five seniors who voiced stories received through an anonymous google form available to all DHS students.
The assembly started with a brief introduction to the attitude towards mental health along with the vulnerability and stigma that surrounds the topic.
“There is a lot about mental health that goes unsaid,” Knudsen said.“Today we are going to share, examine, and begin to understand our experiences with mental health as individuals and as students.”
Shortly after Knudsen sat down, seniors Catie Fee, Gaby Tad-y, Sophia Fingerman, Sophie Purves and Sydney Moore rotated sharing peers’ stories. They represented the anonymous students in order to protect their privacy.
The first few stories were followed by applause from the audience but diminished as the speakers maintained a serious presence and continued to share the messages without hesitation.
The beginning stories shared the feelings that come with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I feel like I can’t control my brain and it makes me feel completely powerless and defeated,” Fee read.
Following six stories, the topics discussed grew to include self harm.
Three of the stories read:
“My hands would shake uncontrollably some of the time […] in the past, I would be so desperate to make my hands stop shaking that I would cut palms,” Purves read.
“I used to think of myself as broken, as faulty, as a burden, that it was my fault I was the way I am,” Moore read. “Mental health to me is feeling that your brain is attacking you and some days you don’t have the energy to fight back and some days you really just don’t.”
“Some days I feel fine and other days I struggle to get out of bed. I hope that I get in an accident when I drive to school […] I feel guilty for being anywhere because I never contribute anything good,” Fingerman said.
The panel of seniors continued to share the stories of DHS students and concluded the assembly with a call to action, relaying the importance of utilizing resources, such as the Davis Mental Health Clinic, and de-stigmatizing talking about mental health.
24 Hour Yolo County Crisis Line: (530) 756-5000
ASK Teen Crisis Line: (530) 753-0797