Curtis HS Youth Spread The Love

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For Self Harm Awareness month in March, student health ambassadors at Curtis High School, a Children's Aid Society community school in Staten Island, organized a “Self-Love Day.” Student volunteers handed out surveys that youth completed anonymously and led activities like "Fears vs Dreams" from the "To Write Love on Her Arms" movement. Students wrote their biggest fears on bricks and greatest dreams on footprints. The bricks will make a path in the Health Center with the dream footprints stepping over the fears and along the path. A makeshift photo booth was set up for students to take “Love Thy Selfies”, complete with positive body image quotes for them to hold up. Because these issues are so prevalent amongst adolescents, students wrote “LOVE” on their arms with sharpies to support those who are struggling with depression, self harm and thoughts of suicide.

After school in the library, students watched the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The movie depicts the story of a 15 year old struggling with a friend's suicide and his own mental health issues all the while trying to find his place in high school.

All throughout the day, ambassadors and staff connected these issues to resources offered right inside the school at the school based health center. Out of 188 surveys collected, 49 students admitted to self-harming. Information like this will be essential to the Mental Health staff at Curtis High School in their efforts in creating a health center that students feel comforatble going to for help.