Club Spotlight: Bring Change to Mind

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Last year, juniors Kassidy De Nobrega, Kayla Greenfeld, and Dorcas Adewale started a Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) club at Townsend Harris. Supported by the Bring Change to Mind High School Program, the club aims to educate students about mental health illnesses in order to end the stigma that surrounds them.

Kassidy, the club’s president, explained that her motivation for creating the club was to expand upon and go beyond what the

Student Wellness Team was doing for the school. “I hoped to provide another outlet through which students could learn about what mental health is and to combat the distorted portrayals of mental health disorders and illnesses in the media,” she said. “I learned about the [Bring Change to Mind] organization via Instagram, where I saw a post about their message of ending mental health stigmas.”

The Bring Change to Mind organization was founded in 2010. The nonprofit is dedicated to encouraging conversation about and activism for mental health. Their high school program gives students across the country the opportunity to start a club that can make a difference in their school and community. As of the beginning of this school year, there are 320 schools currently participating in the program, THHS being one of them.

Typical club meetings focus on discussion and reflection on a lesson about a specific mental health issue. Kayla, the club’s treasurer, said that club meetings usually involve “conversations and videos about the topic that we use to make our presentation more interactive. Also, some club meetings are a little different, where we do many different activities, which are always very fun.” Some of these activities are directed toward the mental health of the club members, such as making a “Happiness Jar” to remind them of what makes them happy.

The club’s goals inspired junior Sarah Hardeo to join. “I decided to join this club because I heard that it was about mental health,” Sarah said. “School was really stressful so I thought that this club would be really helpful, as it provided a space for me to share how I felt about my mental health.”

BC2M also holds events in order to spread their message more widely within the school community. For example, they have held two movie nights during the Fall semester: Coraline for Halloween and It’s A Wonderful Life for the December holidays.

In the future, the club plans to grow and reach as many students as possible by hosting activities and events as well as providing resources for students. “We are planning to address some pertinent topics at a few school-wide workshops including Intersectionality and Mental Health and Imposter Syndrome,” Kassidy said.

Guidance counselor Sara Skoda, the club’s advisor, reflected on the role the club plays in gaining a better understanding of the importance of mental health. “Through clubs like [BC2M], knowledge is power. They inform and teach and they do it in a way that is relatable,” she said. “I truly believe more students will recognize the importance and will start to make their mental health a priority.”

Bring Change to Mind meets biweekly at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays