Middle School Breaks Ground with New Club

Club+Photo+%28not+all+members+were+featured%29

Club Photo (not all members were featured)

Elisabeth Higley

The Westminster Middle School has a groundbreaking club about the mental health of students, called the Active Minds. The Active Minds is a nation-wide, non-profit organization started in 2003 with a mission to spread mental health awareness among college students due to the rising suicide rates. Since then, the Active Minds has spread to many high schools around the country and even our Middle School.

Despite the Active Minds not having much of an influence in middle schools nation-wide, the Westminster Middle School has recognized the importance of mental health and spreading awareness. Saundria Zomalt, Middle School Counselor, describes how the Active Minds was started here in the Middle School: “The Upper School is one of the only recognized chapters and we started an unofficial Middle School chapter in 2018.” In just three short years, the club has expanded and spread greatly. “Our club has grown a lot, and not just in student numbers, but also in the support we have received from faculty and administration,” says Zomalt. “I can’t wait to see what is in store for this group next year and beyond.’” 

The Active Minds meetings have continued throughout this school-year, but COVID-19 has affected the club, specifically in terms of participation due to the social distancing rules and guidelines. “Even though we had less participation this year, Active Minds was definitely a success.” Zomalt states. “We added programming for Love Your Body Month and received great feedback from students and teachers. Everyone loved the Homeroom activities and the bathroom/elevator campaign with positive messages written on the mirrors.” Although the Active Minds already had their last official meeting, they have set up one more program during the exam review week. “This week is Stress Less Week, one of our biggest events. We like to equip the Middle School with strategies for reducing stress while preparing for exams. This is our last event of the year,” Zomalt explains. 

Overall, the Active Minds, promoting positive mental health, has proven to be a fantastic addition to the Westminster Middle School for everyone.