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Jun 23 2022

Wellness Summit: Girl-Led Support for Girls’ Mental and Physical Health

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The Global GLOW Club members of The School at Marygrove, affectionately named the Royal Sisters, in Detroit Michigan recognized a need that their physical and mental health needed to be addressed.  The question of are you okay no longer became a routine question but a question of urgency and often answered “ I don’t think so.”  During girl talk conversations the topics were often sadness, anxiety, depression, isolation, and boredom.  One club member mentioned that she missed seeing people returning smiles. Detroit Public School District Community has a mask mandate.  Were all of their classmates feeling similar feelings? If so, what could they do? The girls realized that attending club meetings made them feel better. Interactions, supporting one another, sharing ideas and views, providing a creative output, and comradery were the key. So what could they do to help and share these feelings with the other girls in their school?

First, the club members had to determine if other girls’ in their school were feeling sadness, anxiety, isolation, or depression. A survey that was developed by the Insight Committee Detroit Team, “What Do Girls In Your Community Need To Be Successful?” was administered to the sophomore and junior classes.  The survey questions focused on mental health, feeling safe and mentoring support.  The response to the questions solidified that their classmates were also in need of support. So how could they share the experiences and interactions of positivity and wellness with their classmates? The Global GLOW TSM Sisters’ Wellness Summit was the answer.

Through plenary sessions, the club members developed an awesome program to present to the sophomore and junior female class of Marygrove School.  The program was completely girl-led from conception through execution. The girls wanted the participants to be involved in a physical, creative, affirming, and empowering experience. They also knew there was a need for professional input in addressing mental health. The girls made it clear that they wanted all participants to feel welcome and be actively involved.  I was told of the materials that they would like the participants to have as a reminder that their physical and mental health was important. I was tasked by club members as the co-community liaison. I procured donations of lotion, soap, deodorant, combs, and lip balm for all participants from our neighborhood Lee’s Beauty Supply. Global GLOW provided totes and water bottles and t-shirts for all participants.

The Wellness Summit took place on June 2, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

There were a total of seventy-eight participants and three Global GLOW staff members. The summit began with a strolling survey of four questions. Participants indicated their response by signing the intilials. 

  1. My Mental Health Is ……
    1.  Good           b. Fair      c. Not Well
  2. My Physical Health is 
    1.  Good           b. Fair      c. Not Well
  3. I feel….
    1. Happy          b. Ok        c. Sad
  4. I Deal With Stress Situations ……
    1. Rarely          b. Sometimes   c. Often

After completing the strolling survey the participants were invited to a continental breakfast of cereal bars, yogurt, fruit, danish pastries, water, and juice. The participants were then escorted into the presentation room. The presentation was beautifully decorated by the club members. In the presentation room, clubs presented a slide presentation that explained the missions and goals of the GLOW Club and the purpose of the Wellness Summit. The agenda of the day was provided. The group would hear the keynote speaker, Ms. Bailey, School Psychologist. The group would be divided into four groups which would rotate to the four stations.

Ms. Bailey, School Psychologist addressed the group with a warm welcome and let them know that they were in a safe space.  She let them know that we were going to have an open conversation about physical and mental health. The girls talk about self-image, colorism, anxiety, and depression.  She tasked the girls to share ways they deal with depression.  The girls shared the following examples: redecorating, journals, crocheting, dancing, yoga, talking to friends, and being creative. After an inspiring conversation with Ms. Bailey, the girls moved to the cafeteria and gym for activities.

The following four stations were presented to all participants on a 25-minute rotational schedule.  The following station was located in the gym.

  • The Physical Health Station was where the girls participated in learning breathing and yoga positions for relaxation.
  • The Creative Station provided participants with oil paint and a canvas to express themselves.  Participants were able to create amazing paints to express themselves.
  • The Self Esteem Station was facilitated by Ms. Bailey in which she demonstrated how to create hair wraps and the importance of healthy skin and hair care.
  • The Affirmation Station provided participants with journals and an understanding of the power of daily affirmation and positive thinking.

All the stations with the expectation of the Self-Esteem station were facilitated by Global GLOW TSM Royal Sisters’ club members. 

After all participants visited the four stations they returned to the presentation room for a rally, to receive their tote bags and t-shirts and closing remarks.

The summit was a huge success.  The Global GLOW TSM Royal Sisters have vowed to make this an annual event. They know that as leaders in their community, it’s their duty to make sure they know what is needed to help girls succeed: healthy minds and bodies.

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