Fair addresses mental health, disabilities

Independence Primary School held its third annual “Mental Health and Wellness Fair” on Nov. 21 at the Independence Civic Center. Along with mental health and wellness, the event also included disability awareness. The event was organized in collaboration with the city of Independence.

The goal was to educate students about mental health, teach empathy and acceptance of differences, and provide tools to support wellbeing. Students visited several stations, which focused on American Sign Language basics, mindfulness through deep breathing, developing fine motor skills and using the five senses. The event included activities that allowed students to experience what it is like to have varying disabilities and needs.

“This was a collaborative effort to equip our students with knowledge and strategies to understand themselves and others,” said IPS Principal T.J. Ebert. “By working with the city, we were able to offer a comprehensive experience to nurture mental health and inclusion.”

The event aimed to foster a welcoming, compassionate environment for all. Students asked thoughtful questions and supported one another throughout the stations.

“It is crucial for us educators to address the mental health needs of our students and create an environment where everyone feels understood and supported,” said Ebert. “We believe this event will contribute to the overall wellbeing of our school community and empower our students with knowledge, skills and empathy.” ∞

Photo: Primary school students learn sign language as part of a lesson on people with disabilities. Photo submitted.