One World Day Reintroduces Theme of Mental Health After Past Successes
One World Day is quickly approaching and this year’s theme is mental health and wellness. One World day is a day without traditional classes that is designed to focus on a specific idea or issue. The day includes workshops, lectures, and activities to help students better understand and think about the chosen topic. The theme of mental health and wellness… was done several years ago, but it has returned because of its success then. It will focus on daily stresses as well as specified anxiety disorders to teach our community how we can better support ourselves and one another.
This year, Dr. Nicholson-Flynn, the Head of the Upper School, handled most of the One World Day scheduling. Although the SFC has traditionally planned the day in the past, Dr. Nicholson-Flynn decided to plan it this year because it was too much work and responsibility for the students to handle in past years.
When speaking with KNF about the goals of One World Day, she said, “The goals of the day are really to talk about mental health and wellness, try to destigmatise the concept that people could struggle with their mental health, whether typical struggles or diagnosed mental illness.” She also mentioned how the day is designed to, “remind[...]people of different coping strategies. We all experience stress in our lives and that is a normal thing, but what do we do and how do we handle it” is what really matters.
A handful of speakers and groups are coming for workshops and for school wide meetings on One World Day. Speakers include Dr. Kathleen Pike, who is an Executive Director and Scientific Co-Director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University. She is also on the Board of Trustees here at Riverdale.
There will also be a student-faculty panel in the beginning of the day. Some students and members of the staff will talk about their mental health challenges in an attempt to educate our community about their struggles and teach healthy ways of dealing with them.
There will be many workshops on One World Day which will be run by faculty and students. Some workshops will entail out of school groups coming to Riverdale to discuss specific topics such as eating disorders and body image issues, to name a few. Workshops will also include mindfulness, yoga, and artistic exploration projects.
When talking with Emily Schorr-Lesnick about the day she wrote, “The day is just as jam-packed as a normal school day, but we are given time to really explore the theme of mental health and wellness from all angles. Not only are students talking about ways to manage stress, for example, but they are able to engage in activities that help relieve their stress! It's practical, it's real, it's embodied.”
Lastly, KNF hopes that more juniors and seniors send in ideas for workshops associated with mental health and wellness. Students would be able to run an activity discussing their chosen topic or simply recommend an idea for a discussion. Email KNF if you have an idea for a workshop that could help the student body, and look forward to engaging and thoughtful discussions about mental health and wellness on November 28th.