Diminishing Mental Health Stigma One Mind At A Time


Every Mind Matters (EMM) leaders and members during a recent meeting.

Hanna Roth, Staff Writer

In a world with school counselors in place in every school, Gen Z is more open to discussing their mental health than the generations before. As the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media being readily available since birth, Gen Zers are more comfortable sharing their personal stories online. The possibilities for schools and educators to transform how future generations think about mental health and mental healthcare are endless. What’s important is that there is a place to begin having these conversations, alongside families and communities. One of those resources at Prep is the Every Mind Matters (EMM) club, founded during the Covid – 19 pandemic.

Every Mind Matters is a student group whose mission is to reduce stigma and raise mental health awareness in the Prep community through education, support, and advocacy. EMM strives to develop a student-to-student connection that fosters a safe environment, builds community, and aligns with evidence-based practices for mental health education. ​EMM also represents students in our community who may feel excluded or lonely because of what they are going through mentally. Lastly, they work to be an additional support system to Seattle Prep that ensures the safety and well-being of students’ mental health.

Seattle Prep counselors Mr. Johnston and Dr. Rosellini have been the moderators for EMM since the beginning stages, helping the leaders prepare for club meetings and big projects. Johnston currently works two jobs at Prep, juggling between being a science teacher and the head of the Counseling Department. Johnston finds that “being in the counseling role has helped [him] understand the student experience better and has made [him] a better teacher.”

He finds EMM’s club concept and mission an important one and likes to almost be a fly on the wall, to know what kinds of things the students are interested in. In combination with being a counselor and moderator of EMM, Johnston sees his role at Prep as the opportunity to see and be in touch with the students. In addition to advising EMM, Rosellini also shows his interest in One Love, reaching out to all groups and clubs at Prep. Prior to working at Prep, Rosellini worked at Opal: Food + Body Wisdom.

EMM has also worked on various projects within its two years of running as a club. They have worked on One Love classes for the Juniors, teaching them how to see signs of toxic relationships and how to navigate them safely as well. This year they introduced the freshmen media lit class taught by Mr. Danielson, on the dangers of social media to youths and the toll it has on mental health. EMM also teaches the sophomore HEX classes through Forefront; a suicide prevention program run by UW. Along with teaching their classmates, the leaders have also welcomed guest speakers to talk to their club during meetings.

With all that EMM has done, they are not finished yet. With mental health month coming up in May, EMM has been preparing for a wide variety of activities and opportunities for students to learn more about mental health and self-advocating.

“EMM means more than an individual’s mental health… [it is] an environment in which we can be men and women for others.” said club member Audrey Hamblett  ‘23.