Photo used with permission of Natalie Ridings.
Mental health awareness has stepped into the light and become a prominent topic in our culture over the past few years.
This conversation has made it to high schools all across the nation through the Bring Change To Mind club, which meets on the first Wednesday of each month and aims to help students learn about the importance of good mental health.
Formerly known as the Stigma Free Club, Bring Change To Mind now has a national sponsor run by actress and activist Glenn Close. The club now receives funding from the non-profit that they can use toward their cause.
“We get a lot of resources and we get funding,” club sponsor and guidance counselor Natalie Ridings said. “Now we’re with a true organization.”
The club focuses on promoting not only good mental health, but kindness and positivity for all students. Among the members is senior Saumya Saini, one of six board members in charge of leading the club.
“We try to reduce stigma by doing presentations and putting posters up,” Saini said. “We try to get as many students involved as possible.”
For those interested in the club or staying involved outside of meetings, the organization participates in different activities throughout the year like the Night of Hope in collaboration with the Peyton Riekhof Foundation and the Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk.
“In May we have our biggest event called Hope for Happiness,” Ridings said.
“It’s a big concert in downtown Fishers, we have different mental health resources there and last year we had positive rock painting.”
Due to the stigma surrounding it, mental health can be a difficult subject to talk about. This is one reason why there are Community Health licensed therapists offered to help students understand their own feelings and the emotions of those around them.
“Mental health is always something that’s been a passion of mine,” Ridings said. “It wasn’t something that was talked about, especially when I was in high school so what I want to do is make an impact on students here.”