Teenage Brain Assembly discusses mental health of students

The cover of the book, "Brainstorm," which is the basis of the assembly. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL SIEGEL
The cover of the book, “Brainstorm,” which is the basis of the assembly. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL SIEGEL

The Mark Keppel Conflict Resolution classes organized the Teenage Brain Assembly, based on Brainstorm written by psychiatrist Daniel Siegel, to raise awareness importance of mental health. 

The assembly focused on the necessity of taking care of one’s own mental health, as well as offering solutions to the mental illnesses of life. As young adults, students are more susceptible to mental health problems. A better understanding of how the brain functions can help reduce the possibilities of these illnesses to occur. 

According to the public health analyst, Susan Wile Schwarz, “the brain undergoes significant developmental changes, establishing neural pathways and behavior patterns that will last into adulthood [during adolescence]… which make them more prone to depression and more likely to engage in risky and thrill-seeking behaviors than either younger children or adults.”

Participants like junior Amy Choosanoi talked about what goes on in a teenager’s brain, such as how a person “flips their lid” when they are mad and what they can do to “get back online” and prevent doing things they will regret, like lashing out at friends.

“[We’re] collectively taking from the book the important information that they would have wanted to learn if someone had told them sooner,” said Conflict Resolution teacher, Ms. Sutton, “and we’re going to do a slideshow where we say here’s what you need to know about your brain.”

“If we understand how the adolescent brain works,” commented Sutton, “It results in more empathy, kindness, and [a better] ability to understand each other… because if we understand what’s happening then we can resolve the conflicts between us and within us.”

*Interviews conducted by Evan Cheng (11th)

Kevin Liu

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