Yesterday, had the pleasure to attend & then facilitate 3 diff breakout sessions (seen here, even tho they look the same bc of the school uniforms ;)), at the Severn School, in Maryland.
This was part of their annual “Unity Day” for this private school, w this event focusing specifically on their HS students.
Along w help from some amazing school advisors, this is a day the students, themselves, run. They picked topics such as diversity & inclusion, abortion rights, & yes, mental health, to break out into groups & discuss.
We were fortunate to have 3, hour & 10 min sessions w a group of about 60-70 in each, so about 200 students in total.
Did things a little differently this time. Shorter version of my own story, explanation of #5in5 for the purposes of illustrating how life challenges affect us all, but then breakouts, after we introduced the concept of the #SameHere Scale, facilitated by the student leaders, specifically, the @severn.umbrella.club.
The students then broke up into smaller groups, & discussed times in their lives when they’ve felt diff places on that scale.
Last yr, this club had students submit stories of challenges, & they were read out loud, anonymously. This year, the scale exercise was meant to facilitate sharing more personally.
Had to hold back some emotions as students shared everything from the suicide of a sister (for the first time ever, publicly), to a father’s loss of a job & ultimately their need to sell their house.
We even met at lunch, btwn sessions 2 & 3, & tweaked things so that we’d encourage students to use the #SameHere sign, any time one person shared, & others could empathize in any way.
Just the beginning of working w this school. Lots of work we collectively want to do, together. Need to work on ways to get the “boys” more involved w the student-led club, & sharing more. Need to work on making the app, & the hand sign more a part of the whole school’s culture. Overall, wonderful group, ahead of the curve, leading the way. Excited to keep going!