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NOWA arrives to promote mental health awareness

Ben Walker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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A new year at WA also marks the start of new sports seasons, school activities, and clubs. This year, WA has introduced a brand new club to students, No One Walks Alone (NOWA). The club, started by junior Isabel Redman, promotes good mental health among students at WA and around the community.

According to Redman, she was inspired to start the club after living through her brother’s struggles with mental illness.

“I wanted to start something were we could get information out to people and let people know that they’re not alone and that all these things are available to help them, so that we can help students before they reach a breaking point,” she said.

To start the club, Redman says she talked to people interested in starting the club and also talked to school psychologist Steve Cuhna, as well as school social worker Micaela Violette, who are co-advisers to the club.

Furthermore, Redman says that at their meetings they discuss events and activities the club could do to spread information to and help students who are struggling with mental illness.

Additionally, Redman says that the club wants to create “Beacon of Hope” stickers for classroom doors at WA.

“[The stickers would say] ‘Hey I’m a teacher and if you need someone to talk to you can come talk to me,” Redman said.

According to Redman, club membership is really up to the individual. They are accepted into the club if they want to attend just a few meetings or if they want to attend every meeting.

“What the club [serves as] is a basis where people with the same goal can work together to support each other to achieve the goal,” she said.

However, currently, the club is focusing on the upcoming WA Bazaar. They hope to have a booth at the event and handout brochures and pamphlets with important information on the organization.

Also, Redman says two more big focuses of the club is to fundraise through different methods, like pins and bracelets and to get people to take a pledge to stop the stigma on mental illness.

Finally, Redman stressed the importance of recognizing mental illnesses in Westford and for people to be more sensitive and supportive to those who need help. She referenced her personal story with her brother’s struggles, and the resources that they didn’t know were available to help with their struggles.

As for the future, the club has more events that they are looking to organize, including a walk to raise awareness for mental illnesses.

The club meets every other week and has a Facebook page to receive weekly updates on what they are currently working on.

“Mental health is becoming so much more known and more people have it than you think, […]” Redman said.

 

 

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NOWA arrives to promote mental health awareness