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Wellness Week builds on culture of kindness, support

Students and staff at Anderson High School are being treated to a week of fun, relaxing and supportive activities designed to promote a culture of wellness, kindness and support in the school community. “Wellness Week” runs from March 14-18 and is coordinated by the Anderson HOPE Squad.

Anderson HS, Turpin HS and Nagel MS all have HOPE Squads, which are school-based peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs. Each school’s HOPE Squad plans programs like this to support students and also works throughout the year to raise awareness for mental health.

“The Counseling Team and the 24 members of Hope Squad felt it was important to provide an opportunity for students to take some time each day to relax and decompress from the stress of life,” Amy Maxwell, a school counselor and HOPE Squad advisor, said. “The hope is that by providing education about different ways to relieve stress students and staff would see the importance of taking care of themselves and continue in the practice of self-care after this week is over.”

At Anderson HS Wednesday, students were able to spend time with therapy dogs. Wellness Week had a variety of activities available to students and staff during lunch, including puzzles, board games, kinetic sand and various sports.

“This week was super important for the students because some of them could be overwhelmed at home, from school, or even just in general,” Bobby Stanyard, a HOPE Squad member, said. “With this week we can really show how important it is to maintain good mental health.”

The week also included mental fitness and trivia challengeas well as informational videos shown during advisory period.

“I think it was important for us to have wellness week to really give people a break and a way to relieve stress,” said fellow HOPE Squad member Kailey Strausbaugh.