On 8 March 2017, Mind Your Mind held a workshop on mindfulness during lunch in Room 248. The workshop’s goal was to to raise awareness about mental health and the stigma around it.

Over twenty-five students showed up to participate in activities such as a Kahoot! Quiz, board games, and meditation. Participants also learned about mental health statistics in Canada, how to relieve stress, and how to be mindful. Later, they enjoyed free refreshments such as pizza and juice.

A mindfulness workshop was held in Room 248. Photo: Sophia Liu

The Mind Your Mind club holds meetings every Wednesday to plan upcoming events. The club plans to continue to holding workshops every other Wednesday for the student population. The room is also open throughout the day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for any students who want to drop in to relax or de-stress during their study period. Board games, cards, colouring books, and Play-Doh are among the available activities. A participant during the workshop, Fardin Islam, said “I think this is a great idea. School can be really stressful and having a place to go during spare and chill is awesome.”

When asked why she started the club, head organizer Caroline Zhaksylyk said, “The organization started because mental health is something that we are passionate about. As high school students we understand that a lot of people are stressed out so we wanted to provide a healthy way to cope with that.”

Mind Your Mind began last year but only recently received funding to purchase materials and fully transform Room 248 into a place for students to go and relax. The club used school-wide announcements to advertise the mindfulness workshop on Wednesday. It was the second workshop this school year but members have been organizing workshops since last school year.

However, these workshops did not have as high of an attendance as the one on Wednesday due to a lack of advertising. “It’s the first time the turnout was this big,” says Caroline on the topic of the workshop. “While most people came for the food it’s good that we could get word out so that next time people can return for the workshop.” She hopes that more members will join and participate in the future; the next mindfulness workshop will be held on 22 March 2017.