Keeping the Mind Healthy: Jashwant Makes Plans for the Mental Health Alliance

Ella Ray, Editor in Chief The Nest

Mental health has been a huge part of student culture and a factor that determines whether students are really able to enjoy their high school experience. The Mental Health Alliance originated from the district and was brought to Tompkins by the counselors team, senior Soha Jashwant becoming the president of the organization and leading the members toward an exciting agenda.

“Given all of our struggles over the pandemic, online learning, and more, I think that the school recognized the need for some sort of support to be provided for youth mental health, and they accordingly encouraged the creation of the Mental Health Alliance in schools like Tompkins,” said Jashwant.

Jashwant stacks up plans to lead the club through a successful year. Jashwant insists that her main goal for this year is to help the student body as well as the staff, become more educated on mental health and actively involved in bettering it for themselves as well as the people around them. To accomplish this long-term goal, Jashwant has been working on some larger scale events that she hopes to involve the entire community in making successful, spreading the awareness for mental health and good mental health practices in the community in an entertaining and engaging way.

“Last year, I was able to experiment with meeting formats and events, so now I have a good feel for what will work and what might not,” said Jashwant.

During the club’s debut year last year, they have held interactive events such as their Love Myself mirror decals which had grabbed the student body’s attention, causing students to shower the club with abundant positive feedback in awe of their initiatives. Jashwant hopes that the Mental Health Alliance’s principles of compassion and empathy become ingrained in the student body and atmosphere of the school through its various initiatives.

“I think that MHA has been able to bring mental health to the surface over the past few months and reduced the stigma attached to it significantly, especially amongst the student body,” said Jashwant. “It’s really important to me that the events and activities we plan impact the school in a positive manner.”

The Mental Health Alliance makes it their mission to get students involved as they are willing to provide any prospective members with all the material they could possibly require to be an active part of the organization. Jashwant expresses that the application process is anything but a hassle, the process being just to show up to a meeting and communicate an interest to the officers or just to contact their official instagram handle (@othsmha). All Jashwant asks from the  members is involvement and the desire to make the community better when it comes to its student body’s mental health.

“Our club embraces uniqueness, a willingness to learn and open mindedness, and encourages discussion,” said Jashwant. “Staying informed on topics such as mental health and self care practices is just as important as any other academically centered subject matter, and is the biggest reason why students should join.”