COLUMBUS, Ohio celebrated World Mental Health Day on Tuesday, a day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health disorders and creating open debates around the world. Kathy McFarland, former educator and director and current Deputy Executive Director of the OSBA, spoke at the event to discuss what students are asking of her to promote better success and better health for students in their school district and community. The event included several parallel sessions and a resource fair where agencies shared information about the resources that are available to district staff. The World Health Organization (WHO) established World Mental Health Day more than 30 years ago to raise awareness and create open debates about mental health disorders. Last February, the OSBA and nearly 20 educational groups and mental health associations held a summit on mental health and social-emotional learning.
The summit focused on universal screening, the classification of mental health in schools, suicide prevention strategies, and how school nursing involves caring for the child as a whole, including physical and mental health needs. The summit also discussed simple mental health campaigns for students such as C 150. This session provided all the information needed to easily implement two student campaigns aimed at reducing mental health stigma and improving connection and culture. The event in Columbus was an important step towards raising awareness about mental health disorders. It provided an opportunity for people to learn more about the resources available to them in their community, as well as how to create campaigns that can help reduce stigma around mental health issues. It is essential that we continue to have these conversations in order to create a more inclusive society where everyone can access the help they need.