Atom Minds Matter words towards destigmatizing mental health throughout AHS

During the “covid year” in 2020, the club Atom Minds Matter was founded at Annandale. AMM is a part of a bigger organization called Our Minds Matter which focuses on destigmatizing mental health within the youth. Through activities such as cookie decorating and hanging up words of affirmation on bathroom mirrors, AMM strives to normalize mental health throughout the Annandale community. 

I love that Atom minds matter work to create a safe space for Annandale students where they can be vulnerable, learn more about mental health, and create bonds with their peers,” said senior secretary Aisha Ismael  

“It’s a great club and I’ve learned a lot through the leadership training and certifications,” said Ismael 

At almost every FCPS high school there has been a chapter of Our Minds Matter open such as Woodson Minds Matter and Oakton Minds Matter. Through this connection through every high school comes a sense of community and communication to discuss meeting ideas.

Our Minds Matter holds virtual and sometimes in-person meetings to branch together all of the mental health clubs to do a check-in on how they are doing within each school. 

“I like Atom Minds Matter because you get to meet new people and create bonds with those you can relate to. I also like how welcoming everyone is and how helpful we are to one another. It truly creates a community that’s very understanding and accepting,” said vice president Nicole Perez 

Social media is a huge way that the board works to connect with the community. Through posting consistent words of affirmation to promote all club events, the social media coordinators work towards making sure all of the members stay up to date on all that AMM has to offer. 

One of the main priorities of the club is to make the members feel less alone and make a community out of the common goal of destigmatizing mental health. Through bonding activities with peers and open conversations about mental health, AMM is making a positive impact throughout the Annandale community. 

“I like AMM because of how relaxing the club is and stress-free it is, the activities we have are really creative and fun to do with friends,” said senior member Theresa Lee

Through working closely with the school psychologist, Laurie Ottenhenning, the board was able to learn a lot about the correct way to approach mental health through students. The combination of a mental health professional along with student involvement makes for a great team. 

Having students approach their friends on the topic of mental health makes the topic a little less daunting and takes the “taboo” aspect out.