Parkinson Centennial hosts play day for mental health week

May 12, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

To celebrate Mental Health Week, Parkinson Centennial Public School hosted a health and wellness play day, educating students on mental health and giving them positive reinforcement.

Since the Canadian Mental Health Association introduced Mental Health Week (the first week of May) in 1951, the country has taken various campaigns and events to educate the problems and solutions on mental health, illness, and addiction.

Parkinson Centennial applied for, and was given, a $500 grant from the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) to spend on various activities for their special play day.

Throughout the entire school day on Friday (May 5), students participated in various activities that focused on strategies for them having a bad day.

“It’s a good balance of focus, little bit of activities,” explained Wayne Peeters, the school’s vice-principal.

Some of the activities included yoga, stress ball making, mandala art coloring, board games, and Lego communication (modified version of broken telephone line).

Mr. Peeters described the play day as a culmination of the whole week, during which they played positive songs over the announcements, gave students advice and strategies for positive feeling, and activities in individual classes. Students were “doing other activities that support being mindful of oneself and focusing, deep breathing and good positive self talk.”

Asked what he wants the students to gain out of the play day, Mr. Peeters said they could learn the techniques and leave with a good feeling.

“Hopefully they can come away with that stress ball and at night they’re going to keep it by their bed, and if they’re feeling angry they’ll just squeeze the stress ball.”

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