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In 2019, McDonogh became the first independent school in Maryland to participate in the Children’s Mental Health Matters (CMHM) initiative, a campaign that brings together non-profits, schools, and other agencies to raise awareness of the importance of children’s mental health. This year from May 4-8, each division of the School continued the important work of CMHM with a series of activities and events centering around the issue.
In the Upper School, students were greeted each morning with an email from Associate Head of Upper School Nancy Love that included mental health resources, suggestions for stress-reducing activities, and invitations to take part in mindfulness activities. Each day centered around themes such as friendship or gratitude and offered ways for students to connect to the resources always available to them at McDonogh.
Middle schoolers embraced Children’s Mental Health Matters week in an artistic fashion by writing poems and creating illustrations that focus on the feelings and mental health challenges that students face. They also participated in the Lines Project, a worldwide initiative that looks to remove the stigma from mental health issues by allowing students to share their own stories.
The Lower School met the week with all the enthusiasm and joy that has come to be expected from McDonogh’s littlest Eagles. From creating songs to the tune of Don’t Stop Believing, to taking time to relax by creating soothing artwork, lower schoolers found fun and innovative ways to spread awareness about children’s mental health. They were also excited to dress in green on “Green Day,” the final day of Children’s Mental Health Matters week when everyone is encouraged to wear green to show their support for the campaign.
Students’ mental health is of the utmost importance at McDonogh School and counselors in each division are always ready to listen and to guide students who may need help. During this time, which can be full of uncertainty and stress, students are encouraged to continue to reach out and use the resources McDonogh provides.