Love Your Mind Week Sparks Unexpected Emotions
By Emily S.
December 17, 2018
When Peer to Peer announced the focus of this year’s Love Your Mind Week at Town Meeting, students responded with tears and anger. Peer to Peer hoped the week would be an inclusive event that would acknowledge mental illness and learning differences while giving the student body a medium to address their own differences and learn about other students’ disabilities.
Peer to Peer’s announcement sparked a wave of emotion from the students, who voiced their disappointment that the topic did not solely focus on those who suffer from mental illnesses. These students believe that the platform to discuss the stress every Westridge girl feels is already present, and Love Your Mind Week provided the only platform to discuss mental health issues as a community. “We are all stressed at Westridge and talking about it is important, but Love Your Mind Week is supposed to provide a forum for a minority group to feel accepted,” expressed Quinn N., ’20.
According to Third Year Peer to Peer’s official statement, the new direction of Love Your Mind Week was in response to the feedback they received last year. Some of the criticism was that the event focused too much on specific mental illness and learning disability diagnoses. “It was our intention this year to improve the event based on feedback we received and make it more accessible and applicable to the broader Westridge community.”
Even though the topic upset some girls, others who also suffer from mental illness appreciated Peer to Peer’s new focus because it opened up the discussion to other types of healing processes besides therapy. “I agree with the topic because I believe that since there are so many different disabilities, there is no one format to help,” Mckenna B., ’21, a Spyglass staffer, stepped up at town meeting and said. Students ended up sharing ways to take time for themselves in order to de-stress, such as making a list of the things that make you happy and taking the time do those things.
Sam J., ’19, the head of the Mental Health Affinity, fears that students are perceiving Love Your Mind Week the wrong way. “I think Love Your Mind Week should expand into a larger discussion about mental health rather than focusing on dealing with stress.” Sam believes Westridge already understands the difficulty students with mental health issues face, but they have done little to correct the stigma that comes with mental illness.
Sam, along with other students who suffer from mental health issues, are unhappy with the entire week. “I do not think the topic came from a place of malice, but it really didn’t address the topic that I feel it should have, and because of that, I believe it was unfair and overall really frustrating,” added Quinn N., ’20.
Peer to Peer created the event last year to raise a discussion about the internal and external pressures students face. While the conflict surrounding this year’s theme was unintended, it may serve a larger purpose in facilitating important discussions. “This week is to encourage us all to take a step back and love the minds that we have and all the wonderful things that they can do,” expressed Lauren B., ’19, a senior in third year Peer to Peer.