May 13, 2016
View pictures of Life Matters with sound.
HUNDREDS OF Halton Hills students learned about the value of self-esteem, how to create positive spaces and general healthy living during a recent a mental health wellness conference.
Georgetown District High School held Life Matters on May 4 to teach approximately 500 Grades 7-12 students the importance of mental health by having them participate in more than 45 workshops. The aim and message of the daylong conference was powerful enough that superstar electronic-dance musician Deadmau5 and HGTV personality Bryan Baeumler attended and took part in workshops.
The workshops included Creating A Positive Space, Inner Peace, Art Therapy, Spoken Word for Healing and Coping, and games to build teamwork and problem solving skills.
Deadmau5 said he wanted to attend because students should know everybody is in this together to address mental health.
“I think the conference is about strength in numbers,” he said. “It’s about creating a bond between students. We’re trying to lift some spirits.”
Baeumler, a Norval native, said many people deal with mental health issues and society and families need to come together to help each other. There shouldn’t be any stigma attached to mental health issues, he said.
“It can be tough for kids these days,” he said. “I encourage kids to find things they love to do and not to worry about making mistakes. Mental health can affect everybody.”
A big focus of the conference was to help students find ways to reduce stress and anxiety, said Donna Norrie, a teacher at Georgetown District High School and co-organizer of Life Matters. Talking about mental health is a healthy and vital conversation to have, she said.
“It’s about helping kids find ways to be well,” she said, adding social media can make some students feel overwhelmed by pressure and expectations. “Everybody is different and has different interests.”
Learn more about Halton District School Board’s approach to mental health.