Sandy Creek student promotes mental health

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Gabrielle Ferguson, a 9th grader at Sandy Creek High, launched an initiative including mood booster kits as part of World Mental Health Day.

Gabrielle Ferguson is dedicated to making a difference. October 10 was designated as World Mental Health Day by the World Health Organization, and Ferguson, a 9th grader at Sandy Creek High, used it as an opportunity to launch a project called “I Am Enough.”

Social media influences, depression, and anxiety often manifest as poor grades or attitudes, missing class, or other inappropriate behavior, and Ferguson wanted to help fellow students in times of need.

The project included the creation of mood booster kits for the school’s counseling department, health clinic, and the school resource officer’s (SRO) office, over 40 positive affirmation posters for restrooms and hallways, and two calming stations, as well as a website (https://healthyppl.wixsite.com/i-am-enough) filled with teen resources.

The mood booster kits include calming objects such as fidget spinners, mindfulness puzzles, and Rubik’s Cubes. All students can access the resources in the counseling office, in addition to the regular services provided by the counseling department.

It was done in partnership with assistant principal Collin Haynes as Ferguson sought feedback and permission from the school’s counseling, health, and SRO departments for the project components.

Ferguson also collaborated with fellow Girl Scout London Rivers at Whitewater High to create posters and integrate their research on teen mental health as part of their Silver Award. Combined, they contributed more than 140 hours towards this effort.

The students’ mission was to help raise awareness of teen mental health issues and address the stigma that prevents students from getting help. Both are a part of their schools’ health sciences CTAE program and understand the importance of physical and mental health as a part of healthy living and patient care.

In the near future, Ferguson plans to obtain additional funding to provide mood booster kits to other schools within the county.