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Ending stigma attached to Mental Illness is a cause that our students at Greystone are becoming more and more passionate about. Following in the footsteps of grade 9 students from Blueberry School who planned and ran this event last year, about 20 students from Greystone answered the call to plan and prepare for this year’s Headstrong Anti-Stigma Summit. The event was a resounding success with over 150 students attending over the three days.
The purpose of the summit was to help students from across PSD gain a better understanding of how harmful stigma around mental illness can be for people who struggle with it. Students who attended were able to hear from two keynote speakers, Shay Esposito and Mark McConnell, who both shared their stories about struggles and triumphs in living with mental illness.
Students also were led through activities to help them understand that just like everyone has physical health, we all also have mental health and we should feel equally comfortable talking about both.
The highlight of this three day event was that it was completely run by 11 Greystone grade 9 students. They were the MC’s, they led the break out sessions, they kept the students who attended engaged, they planned the activities and they showed exemplary leadership throughout the entire process. Their excitement was contagious and the success of the three days is linked directly to their hard work and commitment to this cause. They were able to convince many of their peers from Woodhaven, SPC, Blueberry and Greystone that “Mental Health Matters” and that we need to “End Stigma”.