Well-Being Club

A new club comes to ALHS and so does its positive impact.

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photo submitted

Gina Klennert, Tim Chalmers, Joseph Yoon, Kailey Boettcher, Abby Chalmers, Esther Yoon, Lucy Stay and Taya Jeffrey pose with their tile in front of the wall of inspiration. Many club members attended the event on Monday, April 12 to celebrate the club’s tile joining the wall. “I think it’s a huge honor for our club,” said Chalmers. “It means the world to us to have been chosen even though we are still such a young club. It shows us that our efforts have had an impact on the students and the school, and that’s what our goal has been all along.”

Maybe you’ve seen their Instagram, read a few blog posts, listened to their most recent podcast or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. 

Many unlikable things happened in 2020, but one positive thing brought to ALHS is the Well-Being Club. The Well-Being Club was founded by a trio of juniors: The president, Abby Chalmers, public relations coordinator Lucy Stay, and Taya Jeffrey, the club’s secretary. Chalmers wanted to help people who struggle with mental illnesses. The club began back in October of 2020 but didn’t become public until later that year. Chalmers started the club after realizing the lack of mental health resources that students have access to paired with the damaging effects of being locked inside due to the current COVID 19 pandemic.

“It seems like we have a dual pandemic going on here,” said Chalmers. “We have COVID, but we also have the mental health crisis and it needs to be addressed, and whatever the Well-Being Club can do to help fight the fight against mental illnesses – I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

 The club’s main mission is to inform others about mental illnesses and provide information on how students and people in the community can better themselves and others around them, all while trying to diminish the stigma that engulfs mental illnesses. 

“I want to be able to make a resource for other students to be able to use, regardless of age,” said Chalmers. “I just think it’s so important to talk about mental health, especially in the wake of a pandemic.”

The club started making its presence known on Instagram, to try and reach out to as many people as possible while many students are continuing to learn at home throughout the pandemic. On their Instagram page, led by their social media team, they host creative challenges to encourage their followers to work out, take time to reflect and much more. Also located on their Instagram is a multi-part series about different mental illnesses. In January, they focused on anxiety and had members of the club share their experiences and what they do to cope. Part of their anxiety series included a podcast hosted by junior Brianna Mann and sophomore Kendall Kenis as they interviewed sophomore Hattie Nelson about how she deals with anxiety. 

“Tell them that you’re there for them,” said Nelson on the podcast about anxiety. “Comfort is a huge thing that I think really helps.”

In February, the social media team put the spotlight on depression. They began a focus on the biological breakdown and what the potential causes of depression are. The Well-Being Club also supplied information when it comes to resources for people with depression. Their spotlight series extends to other branches of the club as well. 

“We thought it [the podcast] would be a good way to not only interview students, but possibly reach out to community members, staff, anyone who wants to talk to us,” said Chalmers. “We actually have a depression podcast coming out with a Mayo Clinic psychologist, which is very exciting. He’s going to explain depression on a deeper level.”

Now the Well-Being Club is examining eating disorders; at the start of quarter four, they began a deep dive into common eating disorders among young people.

Along with the Well-Being Instagram and Podcast, the club also has a blog. The Well-Being Club blog consists of a small group of students who write about their own personal experiences, what helps them with their own mental health and detailed explanations of mental illnesses.

Although the club is just a few months old, it has already left a major impact on ALHS. The Well-Being Club was nominated for the Wall of Inspiration, but this is not where the club’s impact ends. The club has big, long-term goals of expanding and going beyond the walls of the high school by reaching out to other schools and neighboring communities. 

“There’s definitely a stigma that I want gone,” said Chalmers. “I know it won’t be just disappearing overnight. But I think any step towards it is a big step, and whatever part I can play, whatever part the club can play, is monumental for removing the stigma overall.”

 

 A link to the Well-Being Club blog can be found on their Instagram or the home page of the Ahlahasa. Their podcast can be found on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and almost anywhere else you get your podcasts. The Well-Being Club Instagram is @alwellbeing and has links to resources and other material in their bio.