As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Firebaugh High School held a SELsa wellness fair that not only raised awareness of mental health resources on campus but also helped de-stress students in the middle of end-of-year exams with therapy puppies.
The first-ever social-emotional learning (SEL) opportunity and staff salsa competition united students, counselors, teachers and after-school programs to foster SEL skills and a positive campus culture.
“What we are hoping our kids get is information and awareness about the importance of mental health in a fun and spicy manner,” Counselor Daisy Astorga said.
As part of the fair, which took place on Cinco de Mayo, staff competed in a fun salsa competition, with SEL and Instructional Lead Luis Perez taking home the first-place chili-shaped trophy. Meanwhile, students had the chance to speak with counselors, write positive messages on posters, explore resources from the LA County Department of Mental Health and play with therapy puppies.
“Coming back from the pandemic, I noticed how much students needed the extra coping skills, so they just needed the resources and we thought this was a great event considering this is Mental Health Awareness Month,” Instructional Lead Diana Zaragoza said.
Firebaugh High School is the recipient of a Lynwood Partners Educational Foundation grant that will enable the school to develop a WellNest Center, which will provide emotional intelligence workshops, counseling and therapy services, resilience-building activities and community outreach events.