Dolphin Minds Matter raises awareness on mental health


Khadija Sissoko

Each year during the first week of October, students across the country raise awareness for mental illness.

Dolphins Minds Matter utilizes the month of October to reach a larger audience within the school community.

October is National Depression and Health Screening Month. The month also recognizes World Mental Health Day, OCD Awareness Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week.

“Since the club goes way beyond the student body, we want to be more involved within the school itself,” said club president Jumana Zara.

According to Jumana, Dolphin Minds Matter is a club that is a subsidiary of the National Organization, Our Minds Matter, which was founded in 2012.

“Our club not only has the mission to end teen suicide, but we also strive to de-stigmatize mental health issues and illnesses,” said sponsor Joanna Buonviri.

Dolphin Minds Matter wants their fellow students to feel connected through promoting self management, responsible decision making and relationship skills. The club plans to meet for the second time this year on Nov. 3.

“I think that DMM is important for students to join, so they can have an extra support group within the school. Life can be pretty stressful at times, so having a club that welcomes you and helps you learn coping skills is great,” said sophomore Grace Meléndez. 

The president emphasized that certifying all of her executive board members under Lady Gaga’s nonprofit, the ‘Born This Way Foundation,’ is critical because it ensures they have both the skills and knowledge needed to safely provide support to those struggling with their mental health. Along with Jumana’s focus to aid students, she heavily prioritizes her board members’ health as well.

“Each of our executive board positions, besides president, has two people assigned to them to make sure we can all split the work evenly, so no one is stressed. We have to advocate for all these people, as well as ourselves,” said Jumana.