Clinton native Kyra Leddy, 16, is serious when it comes to student mental health. So serious that she took it upon herself to plan a Wellness Week (December 6-10, 2021) full of mental health-focused events for the CHSS community and beyond. “A lot of kids, I found out, struggle immensely at our school, and I felt it was something that needed some extra attention,” says Kyra.
Kyra understands how essential mental health support is for students: she was diagnosed with two kinds of anxiety during the 2020-2021 school year. She participated in last year’s “You Matter!” student-led mental health movement, but when it was not continued this year, Kyra stepped up to fill the gap. As she says, “...mental health doesn’t wait.”
Wellness Week’s events included:
- an in-person introductory presentation by Kyra, who was accompanied by another student’s therapy dog;
- a scavenger hunt in which each class worked as a team to unscramble the phrase “It will get better! You matter”, with the incentive of a pizza party for the winning class;
- a virtual workshop for CHSS and GDCI students with a sports journalist, radio host, and founder of #sicknotweak, Michael Lansberg (sponsored by Tanner Steffler Foundation);
- Kindness Day, which invited students to view student Abby Boss’ video about peoples’ reactions to kindness, then submit pictures or videos of their own acts of kindness (look for these on Instagram at @wellnessat_chss) for a chance to win a treat from Bartliff’s Bakery; and
- team-building activities to encourage students to find common ground with more people in their class.
In addition to planning and executing Wellness Week, Kyra took over the the mental health-focused Instagram account for CHSS students @wellnessat_chss, originally set up by last year’s You Matter! Team.
After taking some time to rest and refocus on her studies, Kyra “plan[s] to ensure many more opportunities come for those that need [them].”
“I hoped to inspire students this week to further take care of themselves and others,” she says. Mission accomplished, Kyra -- your initiative and leadership are inspirational! As Superintendent of Education Kate Creery said, “This is amazing work! … Student leadership at its best!”
Kyra hopes to study psychology in post-secondary and aspires to become either a children’s lawyer or a mental health professional.