From Spikeball to Educational Leaflets, The Mental Health Awareness Club Festival Had It All


Caitlin Maughan, Opinion Editor

On Thursday, May 5, various clubs and organizations with links to mental health gathered on the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School’s grass fields for the Mental Health Awareness Club Festival. Admission to the event was free and a myriad of snacks was provided, including Dairy Queen. 


The Mental Health Awareness Club, the Black Student Union and the Mindfulness Club all had tables at the festival. The event was the perfect opportunity to promote mental health awareness and raise money through donations. The Mindfulness Club took donations in the form of suggestions from the student body about ways in which the mental health system at SPFHS can be improved.    

“We are trying to bring positivity and groundedness to the community,” representative of the Mindfulness Club Lucia Robertiello said. “We want to help people find a balance between the stress of school and mindfulness.”


The festival also featured several organizations from beyond SPF in hopes of providing students with the support they need and deserve. For instance, the National Alliance on Mental Illness distributed brochures and pamphlets with information about stress, anxiety and depression. NAMI offers support to the friends and relatives of people who struggle with mental illness; the advocacy group provides families with resources that are difficult to find as well as educational and support classes.  


“I was really impressed by how many kids came over to the table and took brochures about how to deal with stress,” NAMI volunteer Julie Donahue said. “We all know that there is just such a threat of suicide in young people. We want to get information out about it so that somebody who is struggling will pick up a brochure and maybe see something that will give them a little bit of hope and encourage them to ask for help.” 


The Mental Health Awareness Club Festival is on its way to becoming an annual affair. It is a great way to share essential resources with the students of SPFHS, and I’m not just talking about the oreo blizzards.