Spring Out of Stress! 2017

May is a stressful month for many. With testing and graduations, it is a busy time filled with new beginnings and endings. In honor of National Mental Health Month, the Shenandoah Mental Health Network with special thanks to Family Youth Initiative and Page Alliance for Community Action is conducting “Spring Out of Stress!” – a month-long public awareness campaign on stress management and self-care in Page County.

Our ultimate campaign goals are to help the greater community recognize signs and symptoms of stress and to begin using healthy strategies to “bounce back” from certain types of stress.

Why Stress?
A 2013 survey by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that academic stress, in many cases, trumped social issues and bullying as a top-listed stressor for school-aged children. Stress affects everyone differently. While not all stress is bad, long-term stress, or chronic stress, along with poor coping skills can cause health problems.
2017 Student Essay Contest

Middle and high school students in Page County, VA, can compete for prizes of wellness boxes by entering the Shenandoah Mental Health Network Essay Contest. In a 150-250-word written essay, entrants should answer the following prompt:

What causes you stress? What are some healthy things that you do to cope with your stress?

The deadline to submit entries for the contest is May 31, 2017. Submitted essay must be typed using 12-point, Times New Roman font, double spaced and include a title. A completed and signed Entry Form must accompany the essay. All entries are to be scanned and emailed in PDF format to springoutofstress2017@gmail.com.
Only students enrolled in middle or high school in Page County are eligible to participate. Contest winners will be presented with their wellness boxes in early-June 2017.
All entries are subject to be featured on Shenandoah Mental Health Network member social media pages (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)! Follow @StrengthInPeers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The network assembled a “Spring Out of Stress!” toolkit that includes fact sheets for adults and youth on the importance of stress management, tips for coping, and helpful resources. Take time to talk with your child or student about stress and self-care and engage with the handout activities.
If you suspect a student or someone you know is in crisis, reach out. Provide appropriate support. Listen. Offer genuine encouragement. Recognize your limitations.
These materials and the activities described herein are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Page County School Board.
Youth Fact Sheet
Adult Fact Sheet (Calendar courtesy of Children’s Mental Health Matters)

Spotlight: Jade Hoover

Peer Perspectives continues our blog series showcasing the good work being done by Strength In Peers staff members and volunteers. This month, we interviewed Jade Hoover. Hoover is a student volunteer who helped our staff distribute over 25 flyers and 200 handout packets throughout Stonewall Jackson High School related to the “Spring Out Of Stress!” campaign. In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, the campaign offers information on how to recognize signs and symptoms of stress and develop healthy coping skills.

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An Open Letter About Stress

By: Samantha Bryant

While helping to develop the “Spring Out of Stress!” campaign, I had one aim in mind – if the campaign reached one student and offered them a brief moment of reflection, then it was all worth it. The subject of academic stress is one that is close to me. As a graduate student, I have experienced both good and bad academic stress and have watched my colleagues go through the all too familiar and emotional waves – from elation to hopelessness in the time it takes to walk out of the room and refill a cup of coffee.

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