Taking Control of Wellness at NHS

Taking Control of Wellness at NHS photo thumbnail118259

Northport High School hosted a Wellness Week in collaboration with the community’s Drug and Alcohol Task Force during the week of April 15. This week focused on improving mental, emotional, physical, and social health throughout the school community. Each day different activities and workshops were planned for students and faculty to attend.

Along with fun stress relieving activities like stress ball making and lava-bracelet crafting, informative and hands-on workshops were hosted. Topics included the Art of Empathy, meditation, yoga, martial arts, a drum circle, and more. Students also heard from agencies such as the Safe Center and Project Heal, who talked openly about hard topics such as eating disorders, substance abuse recovery, and maintaining healthy relationships.

“Originally, the idea for Wellness Week came from our students,” said Mr. Anthony Ferrandino, the school’s social worker and co-chair of the district’s Drug and Alcohol Task Force. “They were the ones who asked to show more awareness towards wellness and mental health, to sharpen coping skills, to break the stigma surrounding mental health…so we took action, and the rest of the student population has been incredibly responsive.”

Additionally, a new mindfulness room was opened at the beginning of the week. This quiet room filled with soft lighting, salt lamps, and bean bag chairs, resides on the upper level of the library and is to meant to help students find a moment of peace whenever they need it.

“Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a larger number of students who seek refuge in the library, eyes closed, earbuds in, just trying to find a little peace in an increasingly stressful school day,” said high school librarian Debra Cavaliere. “So the mindfulness room was born out of that need, and we’re excited to see how students respond to having it available.”

At the end of the week, students felt more empowered to take control of all aspects of their own wellness.

“In a super busy world that demands your attention every second, it’s important to take care of yourself,” said Kloe, a NHS junior, “because no one else can do it for you.”