Whether someone personally suffers from mental illness, or they know someone who does, mental health awareness helps people recognize how mental health impacts their lives, educates people about available services, and highlights ways to advocate for mental health resources. Talking openly about mental health can reduce misconceptions and stigma and can encourage those who are suffering to seek help and find a support network.
For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, five alumni and four of their friends gathered for a one-hour yoga session. The session focused on why yoga is a good outlet for mental health, how to practice yoga, the benefits of yoga, and the power of mindfulness and meditation. The session was hosted by Farah Dabbas, who is a friend of the YES alumni, and has been practicing yoga for five years.
After the yoga session, the alumni participated in a craft activity and a discussion around mental health and stigma in Jordan. They created vision boards to attract, envision, and manifest what they want out of their lives.
The goal of the activity was to promote the alumni’s mental wellbeing, raise awareness about mental health, reduce mental health stigma, and introduce yoga as a positive lifestyle adjustment. The alumni learned how to use yoga to improve their mental wellbeing, and how to positively focus on their career and life goals. They are excited to promote the benefits of yoga for the mind and soul to their friends and family after attending the workshop.
Corina Nalshik ‘19 shared, “I had a moment of self-reflection which made me realize that I felt loved and that I need to spread more kindness around me and to be more kind to myself. The vision board made me think about the future and my goals”
Corina Nalshik (YES 2018-2019, Jordan, placed by AYA/AIFS in Houston, TX)