Mindfulness fuels a month of action


Terri Brackett

Club sponsor and school counselor Joanna Buonviri, Founder Nina Dao, and Co-President Chelsea Agyei hold up #EndTheStigma banner before it is hung near Counseling office on May 17.

Newly-formed mental health club takes action through a series of events for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Dolphins’ Minds Matter belongs to a chapter of the “Our Minds Matter” program, a student-led club model in which teens train to promote school-wide social unity, encourage help-seeking behavior, and develop skills to cope via student-led activities.

According to club sponsor and school counselor Joanna Buonviri, members aim to care for their own mental health and help destigmatize mental health issues and illnesses, encouraging students and staff to sign a pledge to reduce the shame or disgrace associated with mental health illnesses.

This May, they joined the national movement to provide resources and education for all.

“With the display of the #EndTheStigma banner at school, our hope is that students will take a pledge to normalize talking about and spreading awareness about mental health,” said Dolphins’ Minds Matter Vice President Jumana Zara.

The Dolphins held a spirit week from May 17 to 21 where each day centered around a topic that breaks the silence on mental health, but May 19 allowed students to wear a color symbolic of the cause. 

“The color symbolizes the awareness of mental health that our club continuously gives efforts to in order to help fight the stigma that is often associated with it, and represents unity among us, students who push for this purpose,” said Jumana. 

The club’s Instagram, @dolphinsmindsmatter, will amplify several illnesses weekly along with healthy habits of self-care in which students can message the page directly or they can research and learn with the club. 

“This will be the first-ever National Mental Health Action Day on May 20 and our club is proud to announce that we will be a youth partner,” said founder Nina Dao. “Our club was given resources that we will share that day to encourage others to act on mental health and seek help if needed.”

As exams and Zoom fatigue catch up to students, the club wants to remind all students to prioritize self-care and engage in activities that make them feel less stressed and feel connected to the outer world.

“During our meetings, officers end with affirmations where our members come together and listen to kind words that officers believe they should take to heart,” said Jumana.

As a chapter of Our Minds Matter, the club will end the month and join the Thrive Brunch with several other chapters held on May 23 at 11 P.M.

“Dolphins’ Minds Matter hopes to join others who partake in this mental health movement and learn from one another,” said Nina.