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New PSA on Mental Health Awareness

NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified Issues Student-Inspired PSA to Bring Attention to Mental Health Awareness
Posted on 04/30/2021
San Diego Unified students have collaborated on a Public Safety Announcement (PSA) in an effort to promote mental health awareness following a year of unprecedented social distancing brought on by the pandemic.

To be issued throughout May in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, the PSA features student voices, resources and support. The video follows the establishment of the 16-member Student Wellness Education and Resources (SWEAR) Committee last summer, and a resolution adopted by the Board of Education in January recognizing the importance of student well-being and health.

Hannah Griswold, a senior at University High School, and Catherine Delgado, a senior at Mira Mesa High School, founded the SWEAR Committee to help educate students on coping mechanisms for basic wellness and also on serious mental health illnesses that could affect them, their classmates, or family. The committee pledged to support student wellness efforts by having student representatives from every district high school. The committee is working to make mental health an essential factor in education and wellness initiatives in the district.

On May 25, the Board of Education will recognize Mental Health Awareness month by voting on a resolution and showcasing  the PSA.

“Students have been going through quite a bit,” San Diego Unified counselor Allison Penn said. “Uncertainty about what the future holds, when to see friends and family again -- these are all issues that students are coping with.”

Penn hopes that the PSA encourages students to reach out to their counselors to find mental health resources. The SWEAR Committee works with Penn and other counselors to connect teachers, counselors, administrators, and district officials to each other in order to share important resources, coordinate efforts, and create valuable connections.

“Some students are creating a story of their experiences during this pandemic by journaling and writing. Others have turned to exercise as an outlet,” San Diego Unified head counselor Jason Maher said.

Maher and Penn believe the PSA will serve as a small step towards removing the stigma around mental health so students can begin to feel more confident reaching out to fellow students, teachers, counselors and family for help.

 *District staff and representatives are available to speak to the media.

CONTACT:  Marisa Berumen,  Information Services Specialist, Communications Department, (619) 847-6029, [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>