Before the meeting: The topic of mental health awareness is very important and extremely personal. Following school rules, it may be necessary to have parents sign off on the suggested topic and video. As an advisor, you may also want to meet with officers in advance to prepare for the meeting. In that session, the video could be shown so club leaders have time to think about it and help lead the club through the process. Finally, it may be helpful to have a school counselor attend this club meeting as a resource. The video is 20 minutes, which should leave enough time for a good discussion.
a. Introductions and ice breakers.
i. Introduce officers.
ii. Introduce advisor.
b. Introduce guests — include an icebreaker.
2. Old business
a. Receive reports from members on club projects — What was decided at the first January meeting? What has been accomplished, and what is still to be done?
b. Were there any projects on the list that were not covered at your last club meeting? What would that timetable be for this semester?
c. Review project assignments and make sure everyone is involved.
3. New business
a. A club officer or advisor/counselor should begin the discussion of mental health and explain why mental health is important for all students.
i. Current research indicates that between 15-20% of teenagers have some depressive events. See The World Health Organization’s Adolescent Mental Health site for more facts.
ii. Builders Club can address this issue and work with others in the school to make a difference. Recent stories in your school could also be a good starting point.
b. Visit Erika’s Lighthouse, an organization dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Erika’s Lighthouse aims to create a community of empathy and education for middle and high school students. Explore the website’s excellent resources and videos on this topic of concern for so many students.
i. To introduce a discussion on mental health awareness, watch the video Depression Awareness for Middle School Students. After viewing the video together, discuss it with your club.
c. Have a brainstorming session with your club. Use these questions and activities to get started:
i. What can our Builders Club do to make this a positive difference for students in our school? Make a list of all ideas — they could be educational or fun, small or large, individual actions or a combined club effort, Builders Club alone or in partnership with other school clubs and community resources.
ii. Once you have your list, refer to the Awareness into Action Project List from Erika’s Lighthouse for other projects. To access this resource and other free resources, create an Erika’s Lighthouse account.
d. Gather all the ideas your club discussed and determine what the club’s focus could be in this area. Your plan might have several steps, but it is important to get something down as a starting point.
4. Home project
a. Refer back to open projects from earlier in the meeting — review assignments.
b. Make assignments for the new project(s) related to mental health awareness.
c. Save time for committees to set meeting details.
5. Personal follow-up
a. Everyone needs to take time for themselves. See tips on how to maintain good mental health and self-care from two Key Club board members in their article, Self-care is important for all teens.
b. For another conversation on mental health, view Kiwanis International’s Lunch with a Leader featuring a Q&A on mental health from psychiatrist Jessica Chaudhary.
c. View the Erika’s Lighthouse Teen Toolbox to learn about signs of depression, how to prevent depression, steps to treat depression and improve mental health and how to support those you love who have depression. Check out additional resources for advisors and parents, including:
e. Kiwanis International offers a confidential, 24-hour youth protection helpline for all members of our student organizations.
a. Thank everyone for their participation, especially the guests.
b. Give details about the next meeting.
Usage Survey — As we look ahead, we would appreciate your input on the virtual meeting kits. Please take this survey to give us your feedback and suggest any topics you would like to see in future kits!
Prepare for your club’s future meetings now. Listed below are the topics of virtual meeting kits that will be released every month through May 2021. Keep on serving!
February — Global health challenges.
February — Club officer elections.
March — School-wide kindness campaign.
April — Joint school-community final project.
April — Preview of service and planning for the 2021-22 school year.
May — End-of-the-school-year celebration.