A Movement for Mental Health

Severna Park students organize a march and rally to call for improved mental health resources for students, as well as increased funding for counselors and psychologists inside schools in Maryland.

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On May 1st 2019, around 200 people came together at 6:30 in the morning at St. Martins in the field to participate in the March for our Minds. “I was so happy I had no clue that many people were gonna be there,” junior Megan Moulsdale said. Students gathered together with their homemade signs containing slogans such as “Shatter the Stigma” and “Progress Over Perfection” to march from St. Martin’s down to Severna Park High School and around the school.

The intention of this march was to help raise awareness for mental health and to promote the strides students are taking to make a change.

“Since Severna Park is one of the leading school in suicide rates, I think it’s really good to get this movement out there and get people to know about it,” freshman Gus Bachmann said.

Mental health is an issue that hits very close to home for a lot of Severna Park students especially since the death of Ed Proulx. Everybody knows someone who is struggling with some sort of mental health issue and that person may just be themselves.

“It’s important because I’m personally dealing with my mental illness and I think they need to bring awareness to some people who have this unfortunately because some people don’t have the right attention towards it and are mistreating these kids,” sophomore Sierra Johnson said.

The students and parents of Severna Park have had enough and are taking a stand to fight for what they believe will benefit everyone and help the health of the school.

Although this movement has gained support from many it started with just a few. The minds behind this movement are Sabina Khan, Lauren Carlson, Parker Cross, Megan Moulsdale and Katrina Schultz.

“I think a lot of us were just really angry after seeing so many people go down the same path and not get the treatment that they needed… so we decided to do something about it” Moulsdale said.

Since the march, they have met with the Board of Education to express their concerns about issues around mental health resources for students and propose reforms they wish the board to put in place in Anne Arundel County schools.

These reforms include establishing an Anne Arundel County specific crisis response team, developing and implementing a stricter reporting procedure for mental health concerns and increasing funding for school counselors and psychologists.

But it doesn’t stop there.

On Saturday May 18 from 11 AM- 2 PM in Downtown Annapolis, a rally was held to raise awareness around mental health reform.

Students and parents from Severna Park and surrounding communities came out to listen to several speakers who spoke about personal experiences, myths and misconceptions about mental health, and the necessity to include the disenfranchised and forgotten in the campaign for mental health reform.

Eve Horowitz, an author, political activist, and mother, called for greater community engagement and the important role parents play in their child’s mental health.

“We need to bring back the village and support each other with unconditional love. Unconditional love not just for our kids, but for each other as humans… We are one human race, one family. We’re going to perish together or we’re going to thrive together,” Horowitz said.

Nia Jones, a key leader of the Black Minds Matter Movement, advocated for the intersectional inclusion of all races and ethnicities  in the fight for mental health reform.

“Black minds matter too. This statement doesn’t diminish the ment

Amanda Vu
Pictured are sophomores Trinity Clifford and SierraJohnson who are both advocates for mental health. The girls created their own sign for the march along with the dozens of others that lined the street at the march. “It’s a step forward to everything that is going on,” sophomore Sierra Johnson said.

Holly Hutcheson
Sabina Khan, Parker Cross, Lauren Carlson, Megan Moulsdale and Katrina Schultz are the powerhouses behind Our Minds Matter movement. They gave a speech on the purpose of the march and the reasons that our generation are fighting for change. “The energy was incredible and I think we got a lot of people motivated to help us start making change,” Moulsdale said.

Amanda Vu
Tyler Liberto, Niyah Jones, and Eve Horowitz advocating for mental health reform at the rally in Downtown Annapolis. Among many other speakers, they shared personal experiences of grief and recovery, garnering empathy and understanding from the audience who attended the rally. “What we need to do is tell our kids from birth until their 85, you are the right thing, no matter who you are, what you are or what you say, you are the right thing; you are exactly who you need to be,” Hurowitz said.

al health of other minorities, but it simply says that empowering and uplifting the mental health of the disenfranchised, the forgotten, and the neglected helps all of us,” Jones said.

The fight towards mental health reform and improvement of mental health resources in Maryland has just begun. To support the cause, follow @ourmindsmattermvmt on instagram.