Pali’s Campus Unification Day focuses on mental health

Henry Mueller, Staff Writer

Pali held a Campus Unification Day on Wednesday Oct. 2, which centered on mental health and included both a 40-minute classroom activity and lunch performance.

Senior Hallie McRae, Chair of Justice League and a member of the Associated Student Body (ASB), explained that ASB Leadership invited students to attend a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to voice their ideas about Campus Unification Day topics.

After that meeting, five choices were posted on Schoology for the student body to vote on. Originally, climate change won the poll, finishing ahead of second-place choice mental health by more than 100 votes.

However, McRae explained that Justice League members decided to go with mental health, a topic that had been under consideration during each of the last three school years. She added that topic take on significant meaning for many students now because “life is so stressful, especially this time of the year.” referencing college applications. She said it’s “crucial for all students to know of all the mental health resources we have on campus.”

McRae also said, “The climate crisis is so important and we definitely want to incorporate that into another [future Community] Day.”

This Campus Unification Day was a two-part educational event. It began with a community period in which teachers showed a video about the importance of mental health awareness, along with explanatory handouts and surveys that students completed.

Teachers were asked to share the material they were given and lead a class discussion on mental health. In a video, Director of Student Services Mary Bush reviewed the mental health resources available to Pali students.

According to McRae, students had the opportunity to attend a lunch event after the Community Day period in which Elizabeth Stephans and Dylan Dunlap, two speakers and advocates working with The National Alliance on Mental Illness, shared their experiences and advice on how to deal with mental illnesses.

The “Pali Help Sheet” was distributed during lunch, and McRae said it contained “different resources that students can go to on campus and off campus…if they need help or they’re struggling with a mental health disorder.”
ASB president and senior Laney Chao said that community days are a “good form of unifying our campus” and explained that they educate students on important topics. Other students, such as junior Maygol Mohammadi, disagree, saying that community days are usually “repetitive and they show the same videos, and even the teachers think it’s a waste of time.”

Regardless of students’ opinions, McRae said it’s “crucial for all students to know of all the mental health resources we have on campus.”