Mt. Airy Middle School has been named a 2021 Maryland Children’s Mental Health School Champion of the Year by the Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign.
School Champions were nominated by those in their communities for their outstanding awareness efforts during and around Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which was held May 2-8, 2021. Recipients were recognized on social media, highlighted in the annual Campaign Wrap Up Report, and received certificate honoring their efforts.
Mt. Airy Middle School supported children’s mental health throughout Awareness Week and engaged students in activities that promoted positive mental health. In addition, the school created a virtual mindfulness room that students could utilize when they felt overwhelmed or stressed.
The school started the month by sending families the Self Care Calendar. Then, during Mental Health Matters Week, each day counselors highlighted a self-care skill and a coping mechanism to go with the theme for that day. They also tied each message to the Sources of Strength wheel so students got some exposure to that program. On Thursday (Mental Health Day) the school celebrated Mount Airy Middle Spirit Day and students and staff wore MAMS gear and took pictures with a giant “Mental Health Matters at Mt. Airy Middle School” sign. On the last day of the week, they talked at every lunch shift about the importance of mental health and handed out bookmarks from the Mental Health Matters Campaign.
Throughout the year, the school had weekly Motivational Monday posts highlighting positive mantras for the week on its Twitter and Instagram pages. They also created a virtual mindfulness room for students and did a mental health counselor lesson in all 8th grade classes. Students talked about different self-care skills and then had time to explore the virtual mindfulness room.