You can’t pour from an empty cup



Today we kicked off our second year “This is Me, This is Us” campaign (, which was started in our location by one of our Associate Faculty last year. She is currently away working towards her BEd.

This year, I want to do more to discuss mental health with my whanau (family group/advisor). My grade 7’s. I’ve created this poster as a talking point for us today. I hope that students will be able to come up with ways that they currently take care of themselves so they can take care of others, and hopefully, each student will pick up a new method to try. It’s not perfect, it’s not a cure, it’s not a fix all, but it is starting the conversation, normalizing the vocabulary, and reminding us all to take care of ourselves – especially in an environment that often demands excellence.

We’ll pick up the discussion on Monday, looking at all the suggestions and how we might apply them to our own lives. Then we’ll look at what mental health care looks like at RNS with some posters that some lovely staff have put together (i.e. who to turn to, how to access help).

How do you help your students with their mental health?

4 thoughts on “You can’t pour from an empty cup

  1. This sounds like a great initiative Mary-Ellen, and one that is validated by existing both outside and within the school.

    At Havergal, we have “Being a Health Promoting School” as one of our strategic initiatives, and it has resulted in some really great work. In terms of how we support our students directly, we run a chapter of – student run community partnership, as well as a Grade Buddy Program. Also, we have safe-spaces – run by @vwade These are just three ways that we have students engaging with others about mental health topics.

  2. Amazing initiative @mwilcox, and thank you for opening the discussion here. The most important discussion of all really! Can’t wait to hear more about how this has taken shape @ RNS this year. See you on Saturday!

  3. Hi Mary-Ellen,
    I remember reading a post from a Cohort21 member last year working on mental health and wellness – her students created signs and posted them inside the bathroom stalls on the doors and on the mirrors. A colleague of ours also posted little signs on the staff washroom mirrors. “You look fabulous” “Great shoes” or “I love that smile” These comments certainly allowed the audience a moment to reflect and even smile! I look forward to hearing more about this journey!

  4. Cool stuff @mwilcox,
    In my last school we had a mental health week that was organized by the Arts Committee I facilitated. One year, after running out of ideas, I helped them along in the brainstorm department by coming up with a simple acronym that had helped me in times of stress: S.L.O.W. (Stop. Listen. Observe. Wonder)

    From there we devised whole-school activities, skits, presentations, etc. around each one of those 4 elements. The students made their own posters, branded a hashtag and the thing just took off.

    I often find that when you give students a creative constraint (i.e. some sort of parameter to follow) they make far more strides then if they had to redesign the wheel from scratch.

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