Lincoln Advocates for Mental Health at First Wellness Fair

Mental health has become a great concern at Lincoln. Regardless of students’ grades, classes, or workload, some are in need of mental health support due to dealing with mental health-related issues such as depression and anxiety. 

The importance of mental health has been recognized by staff members and students alike. With the concern of students’ mental well-being in mind, the Lincoln community is planning for a wellness fair that will take place on Dec. 6, 2019. 

Lincoln’s leadership team has been working to combat mental health and the stigma surrounding it. 

 “I struggled with mental health my whole life, and I had a lot of people around me struggle pretty seriously,” says chairwoman of the student wellness committee, Emma Howard.   “[Mental health] has been something I have always been passionate about but I haven’t known how to talk about it because there is so much silence and stigma.”  

Lincoln’s administration is also aware of students’ struggles.

 “We have spent a lot of time and resources for the last fourteen years that I have been here on mental health,” says Principal Peyton Chapman. 

According to Chapman, changes have included implementing more art and music classes, establishing a strong parental support group and changing the culture at Lincoln so students feel less academic pressure. 

“Students shouldn’t have to be running on a treadmill, an emotional treadmill, faster than they should be,” said Chapman. 

During the wellness fair, many activities will be available to students. The fair will start off with students attending lectures hosted by three key speakers, followed by fifty breakout sessions. Sessions will be twenty-five minutes each and will take place all across the school. Students will have the opportunity to attend two sessions that interest them the most.

 Howard outlined some of the breakout sessions that will be available at the fair. 

 “The cafeteria hopefully will have baby animals,” says Howard, “I think llama therapy will be happening.” 

The committee for the fair also hopes to line the hallways with different booths so students can learn about resources, such as Planned Parenthood, Teen Line and Big Village.

“We’ve gotten a lot of information and feedback from students over the past year that there were too many assemblies so one of the things that we are really trying to do as a leadership team is to take that into consideration,” leadership teacher Lisa Klein-Wolf, who is assisting in planning the fair, explains. 

Therefore, the fair will take place during an extended flex period and will be a required activity. 

School administrators and students have expressed that poor mental health is an issue at Lincoln. Both students and teachers are ready to work for a change. The pressure that students put on themselves to make the right choices and follow the right path is only causing them stress and anxiety. 

 “There are so many ways to live authentic beautiful happy lives,” says Chapman. “There’s no one way that making one choice will ruin it forever.”