SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
Two Uxbridge teens are trying to start a mental health group at Uxbridge Secondary School after a student recently committed suicide.
Taylor Hetherington and Meghan Hanna have been working tirelessly to get the group approved.
“You hear about [suicide] so often and there is so many people that have taken their lives, so why isn’t our school doing anything?” Taylor said, “If our school isn’t, my friend and I decided we were going to do something.”
Taylor said the group would be a judgmental free space, where students can go once a week to talk about their mental health and support one another.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk to a stranger, they would rather talk to their friends or people who are in similar situations,” Taylor said.
Meghan and Taylor initially proposed the idea to some of the teachers at Uxbridge Secondary School, but were told it likely wouldn’t work. According to Taylor, teachers told her the group raises too many red flags and could do more harm than good.
“One teacher said to us, it might make their daughter more depressed,” Taylor said.
Although, many other teachers are behind the group and feel like students should have a supportive place to go to when they are overwhelmed or stressed out mentally.
“We have a teacher that would like to give us her classroom for [the group], and we have so many teachers behind it.”
Taylor and Meghan started a petition for the group, to show student's interest and need for this type of service, after the idea was shot down by teachers. The petition has already garnered over 130 signatures from students, who would like to see a mental health group in their school.
The idea was proposed to guidance councillors at the school, and they fully support what Taylor and Meghan are doing. They also met with the principal and she was surprised by the number of signatures Taylor and Meghan got in support of the group.
They are hoping to get the mental health group started for September, of the next school year.
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