Mental Matters Club Promotes Mental Health Initiatives


Elizabeth Secor, Editor

Since March of 2020, it has become imperative to keep up physical health through masks and use lots of hand sanitizer. What has become equally important, and what one specific club aims to help with, is mental health. The Mental Matters Club recognizes this importance and strives to help in any way possible, especially during this time. 


“It [COVID] has put a spotlight on mental health in various ways: more people are being affected, there has been more conversation about it, and more people have the time to do something about it,” club president junior Carmen Price said.  “A lot of people are struggling with isolation in quarantine or anxiety over politics, and there is so much going on that it can be hard to practice some self-care and internal focus.” 


While Mental Matters has had significant participation with meetings and activities like most other clubs, virtual meetings (the club has only virtual meetings as of right now) have not always been a breeze. 


“We struggled with Google meets meetings and connectivity problems the first semester, which made it difficult to have meetings, but I think we have it figured out for this semester,” Price said. “We are using Zoom this semester for meetings, switching from google meets to hopefully have easier connections and conversations.


The club has worked hard to recruit and reach as many people as they can with various projects. While facing some difficulties, they are trying to keep positive. 


“We started with our Instagram page and website, and then worked up to some recognition with service projects as NHS and StuCo have helped direct students to us,” Price said. “It has been difficult not getting to fully explain our goals and help students see what we are doing with some COVID limitations, but we are trying our best to make a positive impact that hopefully brings people to us as well.”


Mental Matters has hosted several projects (that those in NHS and other service project organizations can gain hours for), including a bracelet-making project. The bracelets created were to raise awareness for those struggling with eating disorders and suicide prevention at Children’s Health. They have many more projects planned for the winter/spring semester. 


“We are writing gratitude letters to teachers for their help and support during the pandemic and school year,” Price said. “We are looking into special projects to directly boost the mood of Plano West, so be sure to look out for our upcoming projects!”


Mental Matters credits the fact that mental health is universal, even if not everyone struggles with it, as something that draws people into the club. They also lay credit to their projects and the sense of community it inspires. 


“The feeling of doing something good in the community and helping others is a good feeling. For example, the bracelet project: even if you just make one bracelet, you are giving something to someone,” Price said. “Who may very well be going through the worst experience of their life, and you are providing comfort and hope for them. You allow them to know that someone cares.”


Mental Matters takes project idea submissions through their Instagram @mentalmatterspwsh. Where they try to stay active in answering direct messages, promoting activities and meetings, and providing quotes and reference materials that help provide either information or helpful services. 


They also use Instagram and their website (linked on Instagram) to raise awareness with infographics about anxiety and depression, which helps with the club’s primary purpose.


“Our main goal is to help the Plano West student body in any way we can, opening up networks to talk and communicate any issues or feelings (good or bad),” Price said. “We want to create a safe space for students to help themselves and each other.”