CNUSD Goes Green for Mental Health!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and our school counselors have been doing a phenomenal job of organizing events that promote the mental well-being of our students and staff.  We’d like to share just a few examples of these important activities that have been happening on our campuses so far this month.

Go Green!

Many school sites have had spirit days where students are encouraged to wear green in honor of Mental Health Awareness. During the month of May, the color green serves as a visual reminder of the importance of mental health, encouraging individuals to seek help, support each other, and helps raise awareness by sparking conversations, both at school and at home.

Corona High School Hosts Mental Health Expo at Lunchtime

Corona High School Counselors organized an expo during lunch that was attended by Riverside University Health Systems (RUHS), the Corona Art Association and Big Brothers & Big Sisters IE (BBBSIE). Artists were on hand to help students create a quick painting, while learning how art can help them to deal with complex emotions and improve focus. Big Brothers & Big Sisters IE was there to inform students about their mentorship program and to help them sign up to participate. BBBSIE offers students the opportunity to become a mentor to younger students in the community, which can positively impact their own well-being. The act of mentoring provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can boost self-esteem. Knowing that you are making a positive difference in someone else's life can create feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. And lastly, RUHS had counselors on hand to talk to students about their mental health needs and the available resources that are readily available to them.

Art & Coloring for the Benefit of Mental Health

In addition to the Art Association’s visit to Corona High, many schools have provided activities that can teach students how art can improve mental health in various ways. Engaging in art activities such as painting, drawing, or sculpting can serve as a form of self-expression, allowing individuals to express emotions, thoughts, and experiences that may be difficult to verbalize. Creating art can promote mindfulness and relaxation by allowing individuals to focus on the present moment and immerse themselves in the creative process, in addition to boosting self-esteem and confidence.

Physical Activity

Participating in regular physical exertion isn't just beneficial for your body, it's also incredibly important for your mental health. Many schools engaged in activities this month that promote mental health through movement. Foothill Elementary hosted ‘The Amazing Race’ which included obstacles that helped students connect their physical activity with their mental wellbeing. Orange Elementary hosted a dance party which also emphasized the importance of music on mental health in addition to physical activity. Several schools had group stretching sessions and and virtual walks in the classroom.

Mindfulness and Positive Affirmations

Mindfulness, rooted in practices like meditation and focused awareness, can significantly benefit mental health by promoting present-moment awareness, helping individuals focus their attention on the here and now rather than dwelling on past regrets or worrying about the future. Many schools had activities that promote mental health through mindfulness, meditation, and positive affirmations. Orange Elementary and Foothill Elementary are two of the schools that hosted "Mindfulness Bingo" for their students. VanderMolen students practiced repeating positive affirmations as a group. When individuals repeat positive statements about themselves regularly, it can help rewire their thought patterns and challenge negative self-talk or self-doubt.

These are just a few examples of the incredible work our school counselors are doing across the District to uplift our students and promote their social and emotional growth, and we're only halfway through May!