- Yasmeen Abunasrah and Harris Siddiqui
Positive Panthers: Our Newest Addition to Advocacy
A group of Pleasant View School seniors have formed a mental health advocacy group, “Positive Panthers,” to focus on the mental and physical well-being of students. People normally prioritize physical health, but mental health is equally as essential, and can be more essential than physical health in many cases. With the advent of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the stigma that our community has constructed around advocating for and seeking help for mental health is an issue we can no longer accept. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns have only increased their threat to our communities.
Mental health advocacy is needed now more than ever. Co-founder of Positive Panthers Ibrahim Khalil, states, “The PVS Mental Health Awareness Club ‘Positive Panthers’ was created to not only help in creating a safe space for students to discuss topics on mental health but to tear down this barrier of the stigma. By correcting misinformation, creating a space of healing rather than suppressing, and allocating resources to students such as connecting them with professionals that can help with their issues, our club takes a stand on prioritizing our mental health the same as we would physical health. Our club believes that all students deserve their concerns to be met with care and efficiency. Positive Panthers will help start a community that is conscious of our mental health and will not depreciate one’s or another’s mental health affairs.” The Positive Panthers group posts frequently on their instagram @pvspositivepanthers, to give all PVS students tips and reminders on how to prioritize their own and others’ mental health.