Diamond Bar High School

Peer Counseling offers student stress relief

Despite the sun blazing down heavily, Diamond Bar High students and teachers could be seen on the upper quads holding intense hula hoop contests and emphatically beating punching bags during the Unravel Revolution, held by Peer Counseling from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. The group hosted lunchtime activities to raise awareness about stress-related mental illnesses.

The event was filled with activities to educate students on stress reduction techniques and also allowed both students and counselors to address other critical issues on campus. Peer Counseling advisor Sandy Davis and several Peer Counseling students ran the activities, ranging from building stress balls to throwing bean bags at books, during lunch in an effort to lessen the stress levels of students.

“Overall, our point that [peer counseling] is trying to get across is that everyone at school have issues every day, or things that they’ve dealt with, and we’re just trying to show that everyone should be kind to each other because we don’t know what they’re going through,” Peer Counseling President Aliya Simjee said.

The main attraction of the event was the “Graffiti Wall,” a giant stand decorated as a brick wall. On the wall, students were given the ability to place anonymous confessions, with the goal of releasing pent-up stress and burdens.

In addition, peer counselors tried to address many misconceptions about mental well-being by informing students about illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.  Tables were set up with pamphlets containing pertinent information on these illnesses as well as on future events such as the DB Forum on Oct. 27, which offers students the opportunity to discuss and cope with challenging teen issues, and the opening of the DBHS Wellness Center in January.

The Wellness Center will launch in January 2016. Peer Counseling hopes to create a place to relax and meditate during students’ free time at school. With DBHS’ reputation as a competitive, academic campus, students are bound to feel pressure and stress.

According to Davis, the main goal for peer counseling this year is to address that everyone’s whole wellness is important and not just academics.

“When you have family pressures, [academics], and everything else, it really exacerbates the situation. So giving [students] resources and helping them manage [stress] better will help them be better off in the future,” Davis said.

–Ryan Chae