Students help bring awareness to mental health at McCook Central

Local News

SALEM, S.D. (KELO) – Talking about your mental health can be difficult. But students at one KELOLAND school are learning why it’s important to break the stigma.

Middle and high school students are learning firsthand the importance ending the silence around mental health.

Members from NAMI South Dakota are at McCook Central Wednesday.

“Some of the key points that we do with our ending the silence presentation, the most important takeaway is that everybody has mental health, we all experience mental health just like we do physical health,” Ending the Silence coordinator for NAMI SD, Mallory Kloucek said.

As part of senior project, two students invited NAMI speakers to come in and speak about mental health.

Those two students are Jayden Reif and Samantha Moller.

“Mental health is always important and that it’s always nice to care for others and just understand how everybody else is feeling around you and in your community,” senior, Jayden Reif said.

“We think that a lot of people go through mental health issues, but there’s such a stigma against it and not a lot of people talk about it and we wanted to break through that, especially in our school and get people talking about it,” senior, Samantha Moller said.

One of the goals is for students to learn more about mental health and how they can help themselves or others.

“I hope they realize that at any time there might be a friends or family member that might be in crisis, they have some tools to use to be able to help that person, they have some good resources, this is something they can use throughout their lifetime and not just the school setting,” education and outreach consultant for NAMI SD, Marilyn Charging said.

These students hope this talk leads to important conversations in the future.

“I hope they come out of it talking with their friends and family about mental health and mental illness and situations that they’ve gone through,” Moller said.

The two students say they are also going to be putting out collection jars around the community to help raise money for NAMI.

You can find more about NAMI SD or becoming a volunteer here.

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