I often find myself drifting slowly away from reality at different points throughout my life. More recently, the place I get to call home, Saugus High School, became the next name on a list which should have no place in our society. Following the events of November 14th and 16 seconds of gunshots, the lives of 2,400 students and faculty members changed drastically — forever. For the past few weeks following this mentally, physically, and emotionally draining event, I have found it increasingly difficult to stay in tune with my mental health.
As someone who is incredibly in tune with myself and my mental health, watching the temple which I have rigorously constructed crumble in front of me has momentarily rendered me helpless and hopeless. Fortunately enough, my school continues to promote the discussion of mental illness and health as well as wellness and mindfulness. Last year, this came in the form of Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) becoming an established club on campus. As the vice president of BC2M on my campus, creating a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of my community and fellow students continues to remain our club’s purpose. In the darkest moments of our school’s recent past, BC2M successfully provided safe and healthy spaces for healing, mourning, and discussion.
On the Friday of Saugus’s first week back, our BC2M club held a meeting where students shared their opinions about the different healing opportunities on our campus. Throughout the week, trauma and support dogs roamed the campus, allowing students to focus on something besides the ever-present pressure of returning to campus. Students, including myself, loved this. These dogs were one of the many ways Saugus continues to heal. Discussion about mental health became ever more present on campus and in our community in the following weeks. This led way to the development and establishment of our Strong Space, a wellness center providing aid to those overwhelmed by the daily reminders of the shooting and immense pressure presented by highschool. Therapists consoled students as the began necessary conversations around their well being.
Through all this, BC2M’s support for our campus and its students/ faculty members is unlike any other. As a bright-eyed freshman, I decided to dedicate my life to the discussion of mental health and wellness. Now, four years later, as an educated and mature senior, I continue to stress the importance of its dialogue and stand as a survivor of a heartless act which could have been prevented if this conversation was not something to be scared of. We must always seek kindness, love, and empathy in everything we do, regardless of any biases or opinions. BC2M understands this and continues to be a paramount advocate for change on my campus and for the world.
Agape: unconditional love.
Love one another with no exceptions. Our world will be better for it.