Wellness Week


Michelle Ho, Staff Writer

Maintaining the mental health and sanity of 4,000 high schoolers is not an easy task, but the Wellness Center works hard to raise awareness of mental health and provide a safe space for students. Arcadia High School (AHS) Wellness Counselor Dr. Deja Anderson and several other AHS organizations hosted Wellness Week in the Rally Court from Apr. 17 to 20 during lunch.

“Our goal is to encourage our students to take a moment for themselves and make sure they are making their mental health and wellness a priority,” said Dr. Anderson. 

Ranging from temporary tattoos to rock painting, the activities were fun and simple to help students take their mind off school.

Starting off the week, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee hosted “Tattoos and Twine” at the Rally Court. Members of EDI handed out crowns of twine stars and a huge variety of temporary tattoos, ranging from tiny red hearts to rabbits and cars.

Next, the Mental Health Awareness Club worked with Music Makes Miracles to host arts and crafts, while student musicians played songs in the background. In the Rally Court, an abundance of different brightly colored beads were laid out for students to choose and make their own customized bracelets.

When asked if she would recommend students participate in the activities, freshman Cathleen Lu said, “Yes! A break in the middle of the school day is vital to taking care of your mental health. [The activities] were therapeutic and diverse, and there were definitely a lot of options throughout the week.”

The next activity, a fun origami-making session, was hosted by Seniors of Merit at Work. Origami has been proven to have positive effects on students’ brains and mental health, and its benefits are more thoroughly covered in “Appreciate Origami,” by Arcadia Quill Staff Writer junior Caroline Li. Students can benefit from the art of origami as a break from their screens with a little hands-on arts and crafts.

The final activity was rock painting. Members of Link Crew worked together to make this event happen, setting out tin foil, rocks of different sizes and shapes, and pastel pens for students to draw whatever their hearts desired.

In addition to the activities in the Rally Court, Dr. Anderson shared some tips and strategies with teachers for students to practice throughout their day.

On Tuesday, teachers were sent mindfulness videos that they could share with their classes. Wednesday was designated as a day for community building, and quick yoga sessions were held on Thursday.

“In the spirit of Wellness Week, the class discussed the term mindfulness, and the benefits of mindfulness activities in general,” said Ms. Neda Kuso. “We went to the APES garden to do a mindful walk, and [ended] the week with a social activity.”

“At the start of class the students wrote either in their science notebook, or somewhere [in private] where no one else would see their writing,” said Ms. Barbara Young.

The class also practiced several different exercises, including a body scan, yoga, mindful journaling, and movement activities.

Overall, this year’s Wellness Week was a major success! Dozens of students joined the Wellness Center in the Rally Court for each activity, and it was clear that these activities were fun and exciting for many of the students.

“Our goal is to encourage our students to take a moment for themselves and make sure they are making their mental health and wellness a priority,” said Dr. Anderson. “I hope our students understand the value of carving out a little down time for themselves, [and that it] actually helps in the long run.”

Thank you, Dr. Anderson and members of the clubs and organizations who helped make Wellness Week possible!


Graphic courtesy of the AHS Wellness Center