TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Roper Auditorium was a packed house Monday morning as Twin Falls High School held an assembly centered on mental illness.
It all came to the mind of Lauren Parker, Twin Falls High School’s student body vice president, last fall out of interest in brain sciences.
“I knew it was significant in our school but I didn’t think that other people really realize that,” Parker said.
She and a couple of other students started surveying students to measure how many suffered from or knew people who were affected by mental illness.
“The results we got back were kind of shocking,” she said. “Thirty-five percent of our school suffered from mental illness and the national average is one in four or twenty-five percent, so we’re one in every three or more than that.”
They arranged to have seven speakers — an art therapist, choir teacher, clinical and talk therapists, and a soldier who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder — talk on different topics surrounding the issue.
“Some are talking about their own personal experience with mental health, some are talking about ways that they cope or outlets that are good, and others are just talking about life hacks in general to improve mental health,” she listed.
These talking points included exercise, nutrition, playing an instrument or engaging in art therapy.
“I just really hope that there’s people in this audience that feel like they have some way to cope with how they’re feeling, whether it be everyday stresses or mental illness. Someone who just feels a little more confident in their ability to pull themselves out of a dark place," she continued.
Following the assembly, she said she hopes to create a mental health committee mainly comprised of faculty to keep track of students and make talks like this a regular occurrence.