Stigma Free Campaign

Stigma Free Campaign

Nicole Duffett, Staff Writer

Stigma is a concept that has plagued hundreds of thousands of groups throughout history, and has been applied to various issues in a horrible, detrimental form. Such harmful applications of stigma can be predominantly seen with mental health. So, in order to combat it, members of North Arlington High School have chosen to adopt the Stigma-Free Campaign as a way to promote a positive connotation of mental health as a whole!

What is the Stigma-Free Campaign, you may ask? Well, in short, it is a platform in which members of the NAHS community can come together to positively discuss and learn about mental health!

Multiple members of North Arlington High School have done plenty to fully engage their community in the campaign. One vital advocate for the Stigma-Free Campaign is Mrs. Rodriguez, the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, “We have established Stigma-Free Task Forces within our buildings and have also put together a District Stigma-Free Committee that consists of various members of our community,” says Mrs. Rodriguez, “We also set up Stigma-Free Zones throughout our high school building; these are the doors with the green Viking. Each of these rooms has a Stigma-Free Task Force Member as well as information about mental health to be shared with students.” Through the utilization of Stigma-Free Task Forces, as well as Stigma-Free Zones, students are given a safe, non-judgmental place to discuss their feelings and overall mental health.

Speaking of the students, they themselves are a vital component of the campaign. Students can go speak to their Guidance Counselors, as well as Mrs. Rodriguez in Room 215, to learn more on the subject. Even several teachers at the school, who are not a part of the Stigma-Free Task Force, “…are on board with the Stigma-Free Campaign…” Students are encouraged to do so and to share their feelings with these people!

Furthermore, the campaign is significant to the NAHS administration as well, “The Stigma-Free Campaign is important to us, because we want our building and our district to be a safe-haven for all students and staff. We want to create a supportive space for everyone,” Mrs. Rodriguez explains.

Through the promotion of discussing and learning about mental health in a positive light, the stigma surrounding it will surely dissipate. The students and staff of the North Arlington High School are proud to be a part of the Stigma-Free Campaign!