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Hello Idaho: How Meridian High School seniors are prioritizing mental health in the last weeks of the school year

After an incredibly difficult year, Meridian High School is doing something special during the month of May to promote a healthy state of mind on campus.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — As high school seniors are forced to juggle returning to in-person learning with college admissions, prom and graduation, the Meridian High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter is hosting a Mental Health Month for the whole month of May.

The past year has been incredibly difficult for all students, especially high school seniors. From missing out on part of eleventh grade and a good portion of their last year of high school, some students may have trouble adjusting to the new normal.

"I have realized that I have missed out on a lot of the senior year expectations like homecoming and all those other fun things that you get to usually do," said Korrin Satchwell, a senior at Meridian High. "It's been hard missing out on those things." 

Most high school students are finally getting back to the classroom for full-time in-person classes, and while the return to school can be exciting, it can be a big adjustment after nearly a year of learning remotely.

"We'd go two times a week and now we are back full-time so that is a little stressful having all those classes every day," Satchwell said. "Grades are mattering more and I think stress is a big thing."

To make the adjustment easier, Meridian High School is doing something special during the month of May to promote a healthy state of mind on campus.

"We are hosting a Mental Health Month through the whole month of May," Satchwell said. 

During the first week of May, students are planning to show some love to their teachers, as this year has been extremely difficult for them as well.

"The first week is teacher appreciation week as well," Satchwell said. "So we will have students write a thank you note or make a card for them and we will have those delivered to those teachers so we can show them our appreciation." 

Week two will be spent creating a "pledge wall," where students will make a pledge to prioritize their mental health and not push it aside. Green ribbons, which represent mental health awareness, will cover the wall.

"The second week we are doing a pledge wall at lunch," Satchwell said. "We had a huge banner made for it, and all the students who sign it will get a green little ribbon."

During week three, students plan to place positive messages on the sidewalks outside the school.

"We plan on making a 'Take What You Need' bulletin board, which we will put coloring pages on it because there is stress relief in that," Satchwell said. 

During the final week, students will gather inside the school to watch Inside Out, a popular animated movie that addresses mental health. Students will also have the opportunity to make stress balls during the week.

Satchwell and all other Meridian High seniors hope the school year will close as stress-free as possible after a difficult year.

"Summer is almost here," she said.

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