Michigan schools help students amid rising awareness of mental health

Mar 9, 2018 by

High school junior Brooklyn Filipiak saw the student, a new kid who transferred from another state, standing alone in the school hallway. She walked over and started talking.

“He was kind of at first, ‘Why is she talking to me?’ Then I asked more questions, and he opened up to me,” said Filipiak, who got the idea to chat up a new student last fall from a student leadership program at St. Louis Public Schools, north of Lansing.

Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 dead, Filipiak said she is keenly aware of students who stand alone, and she doesn’t hesitate to approach them. Her student leadership program, Students of Influence, taught her that students struggle every day with making friends at school and coping with problems at home. They walk around feeling disconnected from the world.

“Ever since the Parkland shooting, I have been more aware, and I have realized that this is serious and nothing to mess around with. It’s made me open my eyes that there are kids out there that may be struggling with making friends and being social,” Filipiak said. “If I see someone alone in the hallway, I don’t want them to be alone.”

Source: Michigan schools help students amid rising awareness of mental health

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