NHS Hosts Successful Wellness Day to Support Mental Health Awareness Month
On Monday, May 15th, 2023, NHS hosted Wellness Day to support Mental Health Awareness Month. The event was organized by NHS CORE Ambassadors, guidance counselor Victoria Lewis, and SAC Averi Zarbetski, along with the NHS school counseling department, and sponsored by Nutley Municipal Alliance.
The event was open to all students in grades 9-12, and the first 150 students to sign up were able to participate. It took place at the Oval/Tangora Field and lasted from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. The first-come, first-serve event included a range of activities aimed at promoting mental health and wellness including yoga, outdoor games, and a DJ.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to participate in fun activities while also learning about the importance of prioritizing their mental health. The event was particularly significant, given that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
The morning started with breakfast. Then, students had the opportunity to participate in a yoga session led by yoga instructor Genna Cimo. Yoga is a form of exercise that has been shown to help reduce stress and improve mental health. Students learned certain pressure points to reduce stress and anxiety so they can use it as a tool in the future.
After the yoga session, students had the opportunity to engage in a range of outdoor games, including frisbee, soccer, Cornhole, Kan Jam, Jenga, and more. The games were organized by the CORE Ambassadors and were designed to promote teamwork, exercise, and fun. “I was able to get my mind off all the things that usually stress me out while I played games with friends,” sophomore Brooke Yero said.
Throughout the event, DJ Rob Frannicola played music, giving students an opportunity to dance and sing along to the music. Classics like the "Macarena" and "Cupid Shuffle" got students up and dancing. There was also a hula-hooping contest in which the winner won a prize.
A mental health trivia wheel was also included where students got to spin a wheel and were asked certain facts about mental health that are important to know. “It was a win-win situation for me. I won a gift card and learned so many fun facts about mental awareness!” senior Ava Farro said. Students with correct answers to questions on the wheel received prizes like gift cards for local ice cream shops and food spots.
The event wrapped up with conversations about health and wellness led by the school counselors and faculty members. The conversations focused on ways students could prioritize their mental health and the importance of seeking support when needed. Physical education teacher Kevin Reilly led a conversation with students about the importance of good nutrition.