Minds Matter helps students keep calm and stay mentally healthy

Minds Matter club is making lives more stress-free one step at a time


Beth Werfel

MINDS DO MATTER – Students work together to learn about the benefits of ‘de-stressing.’ The members each take turns giving their input on the importance of mental health.

Mackenzie Chen, Reporter

In a world that is so competitive, especially academically, students should know that there is always hope that they just cannot see yet. The Minds Matter club is there for exactly that reason: letting students find hope, especially when they cannot see it.

“It is okay to reach out for help. There is help and hope,” said McLean High School psychologist, Beth Werfel, the sponsor of the Minds Matter club.

The Minds Matter club was created to help educate students about mental health and how to stay mentally healthy. Due to the emphasis placed on mental health, the administration and the student activities office staff were all very supportive in the establishment of the club. 

“Everyone all loved the idea behind the club,” Werfel said.

Due to the importance of the club, Lauren Anderson, the director of the non-profit Josh Anderson Foundation, came to the first meeting a few years back to conduct group activities and give an overview of mental health. 

“For our first meeting, we really want to focus on different aspects of mental health and talk about them with the students,” Werfel said.

During their weekly meetings, club members go on the Minds Matter club website and look through the activities listed and talk about the concepts given. For example, the students might decide to talk about stigma reduction, answer some questions about it and list a few solutions on how to promote it. Other days, they might decorate cookies or make slime with the purpose of just relieving stress. Because of this, not only will their mental health will gradually improve through these therapeutic conversations, but they will also feel motivated to help others as well.

“These club meetings, in reality, help students a lot with their stress and anxiety,” Werfel said. 

Members of the Minds Matter club work on spreading the message of their club to the entire school. They make posters or signs to hang around the school with self-help advice on how to cope with stress and anxiety. Werfel said they want to focus on instilling their motto into the minds of the students.

“I just want to concentrate on making sure the students understand the importance of doing things proactively to stay healthy,” Werfel said. 

Werfel has big plans for the Minds Matter club. In a few years, she would like to have an active student leadership board and active members who are committed to teaching students about the importance of mental health. 

“What is absolutely crucial is for the students of this school to start putting more emphasis on having a healthy state of mind,” Werfel said.

Even though this club has a great responsibility of promoting and advocating for good mental health, it still has a very lighthearted atmosphere and will welcome anyone who is willing to learn about how to handle stress and anxiety. 

“This club is helpful and fun,” Werfel said. “Anyone who wants to learn about mental health or how to cope with stress can join.”