SADDs board, Give Yourself Some Space, located in BHS halls to support students.
SADD’s board, “Give Yourself Some Space,” located in BHS halls to support students.

SADD Advocates for Mental Health

SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, is trying to make a difference one step at a time at Braintree High. For this step; mental health

“We try to actually do stuff instead of just talking about it,” says Ms. Sartre, health teacher and club adviser.

Recently, in part of Mental Health Awareness Month and with the hope of helping BHS students with their own mental health; SADD hosted service therapy dogs after school. The Therapy dogs were involved in the organization’s “Dog B.O.N.E.S.”, which stands for building opportunities for nurturing and emotional support. All of these dogs have been trained to help people. Studies have shown that being around dogs decreases stress and boosts dopamine, the toxin that makes people happy. SADD is there for the students and teachers, they are always trying to advocate for the bigger picture at Braintree. 

“One of my favorite things about being in SADD is that the club is constantly advocating… there were students who weren’t even in SADD who knew about the dogs and came down, so I think SADD has a very big effect on the school as a whole.” Reilly Burke, junior, is a member of SADD and was elected president for the 2024–2025 school year. 

The SADD club is active throughout the year in their activities, “in October, we [did] the red ribbon week…we [had] the pledge in the cafeteria, so we really focus on activities and actually doing things,”  and in May, the therapy dogs were not the only way of advocating for mental health for students at BHS. 

SADD was redesigning a bulletin board on the second floor at BHS. The location of this bulletin board was busy as many Braintree students would pass by it every day. Because of this, SADD was hoping to spark a difference in students.  

“So when we designed the bulletin board, we were trying to think of a theme for it..when we talked about space, we were like, wait, give yourself space, it just came to us. We put on stars, giving people different activities… things that can actually help people with their own mental health.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health is defined as, “Mental Health includes our emotional, physcological, and social well-being.”

“Your mental health affects every other part of you, you can’t do well academically if you are struggling mentally.”

Since 2020, the discussion of mental health has gained more attention. What has led to this movement is celebrities using their voices and platforms to address the stigma surrounding mental health. Many well-known celebrities, such as prominent Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, have taken steps back from work and social media to focus on their mental health. By those with platforms showing their support and care for mental health, the population has begun to value mental health.  

“For kids to do well in all of their other classes, they have to be healthy first, that comes before all the other academic stuff,” says SADD Adviser Kelly Sartre.

 

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