Helping Students


Some examples of the posters found near the commons of the cafeteria.

Zoe Marquez, Editor

Throughout North Polk High School, posters about mental and physical health have been hung in hopes of reaching the students and possibly providing guidance and or comfort. The posters were presented by the students and staff, as well the Health Two class taught by Anne Sloan.

Sloan explained that the posters were part of a project in which students had to choose health related topics they were interested in/passionate about. She added that the topic would be something that other teens should know about.

Health 2 student Alexis Mitchell’s project was on eating disorders within teenagers and the effects. “I think it’s an unacknowledged topic and teens don’t really see the effects in many circumstances so I just felt that it was important for me to get a stronger statement out,” expressed Mitchell.

For the mental health posters, the initiative for these posters were presented by students Olivia Moody, Kalven Owen, Sydney Houston as well as counselor Jacob Wolfe and teacher Susan Krantman. This idea was presented after the group attended a Washington D.C. summit in November 2022 focusing on mental health.

Regarding the monthly check ups, counselor Taylor Irvin stated that she was not the one responsible for the monthly check up posters, and credited Owen. She stated that she has contributed to providing resources presented on the posters. She is also listed as a helpful resource for students that may want to schedule an appointment with her for whatever they may need to talk about.

“It’s a very strong quality of a person to step out of their comfort zone and talk to someone about themselves and are very brave. For those that don’t know how to take the next step into talking with someone they can scan the QR code on the monthly check in’s for whatever they need to talk about,” Irvin stated.

I personally have been helped by some of the posters, especially the monthly check ups that are presented even in the bathrooms. I enjoyed reading the quotes that were presented, as sometimes they make me re-evaluate the stressors in my life and help me see that these will be temporary. Furthermore, posters such as an insomnia poster have conveyed the importance of sleep, and have motivated me to maintain a good sleeping schedule for my age.

I applaud that students are passionate about what may be considered as harsh and/or sensitive topics, such as mental health and or even the effects of fentanyl. I believe these posters are not only considerate to the students and staff but also can have helpful tips and assisting resources that many people might not even notice are there for them. The posters are a positive reflection of not only the students and staff, but of the impact that is being made in terms of mental and physical health within the North Polk community. If you see people taking Health Two, the group with the posters initiative, as well as Irvin, I would let them know that they are noticed for their help towards students and staff, as well appreciated for their compassion for others.