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Upper School News & Stories

One World Day: Mental Health and Wellness
Posted 12/12/2017 02:59PM

The Upper School devoted One World Day on Nov. 28 to mental health and wellness. The event involved more than 20 outside speakers or workshop facilitators, nearly 100 yoga mats, 500-plus journals filled with personal reflections, and rousing renditions of songs from the Broadway show, "Dear Evan Hansen."  

Among the highlights of the day were:

  • A presentation by Dr. Kathleen Pike, executive director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University
  • An address by Stacey Mindich, producer of "Dear Evan Hansen"
  • An address by John MacPhee, executive director and chief executive officer of The JED Foundation
  • A performance by Riverdale faculty members Johnny Hager and Gaspar Epstein of "Anybody Have A Map?" from "Dear Evan Hansen" 
  • A performance by the Riverdale Upper School Vocal Arts Ensemble of "Waving Through A Window" from "Dear Evan Hansen" 

"There were three things that we hoped kids would get out of this experience," said Dr. Kelley Nicholson-Flynn, head of the Upper School. "The first is to destigmatize mental illness. Secondly, we hoped that they would have the opportunity to practice different coping skills, some ways people keep themselves well — mindfulness, yoga, exercise, different things like that. And then finally we wanted to give kids an opportunity to think about the social component of mental health and mental wellness and how we never really know what is going on with someone else and how our actions might impact somebody else's experience." 

One World Day 2017: Mental Health and Wellness

On Nov. 28, the Upper School devoted a day to discussions and activities related to mental health and wellness. Here is an overview of highlights from the day.

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