Triton High School Hosts First Student Mental Health Fair

DODGE CENTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Triton High School in Dodge Center is doing more to highlight mental health awareness during the month of May by hosting a first-of-its-kind mental health fair for students.

The school hopes the resources provided on Tuesday will benefit its teens as they interact and learn more about mental health, the services provided, coping skills and relaxation.

Students visiting various booths(KTTC)

“We want to do more to increase awareness of the resources available to students and also reduce stigma,” said Triton High School Counselor Christi Runnels.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health needs have increased, and Triton High School has taken notice.

“Mental health is often equated with mental illness and these two things are not the same,” Runnels said. “It’s a good event for the students to do, I have to maintain optimal mental health as well as physical health.”

There were 23 different local organizations that students could check out at Tuesday’s student mental health fair.

Nami is here we have AFSP here there are different agencies that offer therapy here, bereavement counseling,” Runnels said. “A wide range of all things mental health, there’s even a yoga booth.”

Runnels says Dodge County already hosts a Mental Health Fair to provide resources for parents of young children, but she wanted to provide those same types of resources for high school teens.

“I think it’s really cool,” said Jude Gosse at Triton High School. “It’s nice to see all the opportunities and organizations that exist within our community and the surrounding communities as well.”

Student visiting a booth
Student visiting a booth(KTTC)

“I think it’s great that we have this fair today because there are a lot of opportunities for a lot of students here and it’s just great to have that,” said Kimberly Valdez-Miranda, Senior School Triton. “I feel like we should have this more than once a year.”

Runnels said the students were nervous at first, but eventually enjoyed the event and learned about the resources available.

“Finding help in our community is very accessible and there are lots of people who are willing to help and willing to go out of their way to let people know,” Gosse said. “And that is demonstrated here today.”

Runnels hopes to be able to host a student mental health fair like this again in the future.

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