On November 28, 2018, CandleX was invited to present a workshop on mental health wellbeing of students at the Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB) as part of the school’s one week long Mindfulness Week. There were approximately 350 students in attendance, who were in grade 6-10 and between 12-16 years old. The auditorium was full, and the energy was palatable when Xiaojie, the Founder and Executive Director at CandleX started the presentation. The main goal of this presentation was to help the students to understand the importance of mental health, and to facilitate a conversation about emotional wellbeing in the school. To better facilitate this, Melena used interactive activities, visuals, and dialogue to help the students to understand the severity of depression, anxiety, bullying, and how to seek help for both themselves or others who might be suffering. This was complimented by sharing CandleX’s mission and the different resources that are available to them.
There is more attention being brought to mental health, and CISM is helping adolescence and teens to understand mental health and well-being from an informative and proactive approach. Presentations like these are helpful for students in many ways, as they can both bring awareness to certain obstacles that they might be experiencing and providing them with educational tools moving forward. The presentation started with a warm up, where asked to close their eyes and were told to raise their hands if they had experienced or agreed with casual questions. These questions began quite light, but gradually went to deeper questions about the student’s mood. As with most students their age, they were experiencing a large range of emotions, from frustration and anger, to happiness and joy. These students were often quite open about admitting these negative feelings, where many students would raise their hands when asked about feelings of sadness or anxiety. This agreed with many studies on adolescence who are facing large pressures and expectations academically.
Students were encouraged to explore different aspects of emotional wellbeing, including intensity of emotions, symptoms of anxiety and self-esteem, improving self-esteem, and different mindfulness approaches to help anxiety or depression. The hope of this talk was to provide students with tools that they could use to in their daily life and to facilitate a discussion on mental health, which included a questions and answers portion at the end of the presentation. CISM is proactive in supporting these children’s mental health and wellbeing, which is important for individual development. We welcome more schools to collaborate on campaigning for mental health on campus. Please get in touch to organize a workshop.