Club Feature: Mindful

Courtesy+of+Ashley+Kim
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Club Feature: Mindful

Courtesy of Ashley Kim

Courtesy of Ashley Kim

Courtesy of Ashley Kim

Courtesy of Ashley Kim

Ashley Kim, Staff Writer

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  In the past few years, increased attention has been brought on mental health and mental illness.  Many students and teenagers have been at the forefront of the discussion, bringing awareness and attention to the stigma and misunderstanding of mental health.  This movement has taken root in West High, in a student-run club called Mindful. The members of Mindful seek to spread awareness and truth about mental health and mental illnesses to the students at West.

  The club meets every other Friday in Ms. Namigata’s room, 8100, where a new mental health topic is taught and discussed.  The room is filled to the brim with students from all grades, genders, and areas of the campus.

  Eleah Kang (11), Mindful’s publicist, remarked, “I joined Mindful last year when it was first chartered.  I wanted to be a part of it because of its purpose, which is to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and help our students be more aware of their own mental health.”

  Mindful’s purpose goes beyond simply bringing attention to mental health and mental illnesses. It seeks to help students by educating them and providing specific activities designed to combat mental illness.  From learning about depression and coping with grief to addiction, the club hopes to unravel and demystify every facet of mental health.

  “If we can help make caring for mental health an everyday theme,” Kang said, “and not something that’s out of place, I think that would be a great legacy for Mindful to leave.”

  Founded two years ago in 2017 by Milan Vu, the club has blossomed with a large variety of students and board members that attend every meeting.  Mindful hopes to expand its horizons even more and reach all corners of the campus.

  Kendall Kirio (11), the club’s vice president, said, “Information is great, but real improvement can only happen when we start using that knowledge.  Mindful will hopefully become more active in the coming years as not only a source of information but as a safe space for discussion and growth.”

  Above all else, Mindful seeks to help West High students understand the importance of mental health and learn how to help the mental health of ourselves and others.  In a world where mental illness is easily stigmatized and mental health is not discussed often, Mindful sheds light on the overlooked aspects of taking care of ourselves.

  “Talking about mental health really does help,” Kirio said.  “Mental health still isn’t always discussed in a positive way, and sometimes that makes it difficult to take a public stand for it.”

  Beyond West High’s campus, Mindful is a part of a larger movement to destigmatize and bring attention to mental health to everyone everywhere.  Mindful’s goal starts with a few students, with a single campus. But their purpose goes farther than a single school; their purpose is to change real people and lives for the better.

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