DECA Brings Mental Health Awareness This Week


Courtesy of DECA

Students participating in IDASH activities set up outside of cafeteria.

From November 15th to 19th, DECA will be hosting Mental Health Awareness Week, which they’ve nicknamed “IDASH”. IDASH stands for body image, depression, anxiety, schedules, and getting help. Each day of the week will highlight a different aspect of mental health struggle, where students are encouraged to participate in awareness activities in the mornings and during lunch.

The days of the week will each be assigned a topic relating to the acronym above and its coordinating mental health issue. Monday will be focused on body image, Tuesday is depression, Wednesday is anxiety, Thursday is for balancing schedules and Friday will be all about getting help. 

“The focus with these activities is to provide students with coping skills and access to resources,” said Mrs. Welch, one of the school’s counselors and a collaborator of IDASH.

Anna Jones passing fliers out to students as they walk into school. (Courtesy of DECA)

DECA has partnered with Sources Of Strength, PEER, and So Positive Initiative whose members will pass out fliers to students on their way into the building every morning. During lunch shifts, there will be activities at a table outside of the lunch room, including pop-it’s, coloring activities, breathing exercises, and more. 

Each morning, the announcements will include a video on the day’s topic. “The biggest thing is to promote good mental health, and also make it so that this is more of a conversation we’re trying to have,” Welch said.

The DECA team who will be running the activities next week includes Anna Jones (who is also the social media manager for DHS Press), Ella Wolok, and Mallika Bhat. Jones said, “DECA wanted to host a community awareness event, and the issue they thought students would be best engaged in would be mental health.”

Positive body image messages written by students are displayed outside the cafeteria. (Courtesy of DECA)

According to Jones, DECA’s main goal behind this event is for students to get to know the many resources available to them in the school and online, as well as things they can do to better their mental health.

“I just really hope that people are more aware of the resources that Dominion has, because we have a lot that even I didn’t know about…I hope that they can take something away from that,” Bhat said.