Mental-Hop: Where Mental Health & Hip-Hop Connect

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As a part of our commitment to providing our students with the most innovative and engaging educational experiences each year, we were able to offer the Mental-Hop program to both our middle and high school students.  The Mental-Hop program, created and implemented by Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, is a powerful set of presentations that is relatable to our young men and women, and speaks directly to the importance of their mental health and wellness.  As the Hip-Hop genre is a prominent influence on youth culture, behavior, and social-media, it was utilized to provide context for group discussion, and motivated our students to participate actively and successfully in the program.

Our students were given the opportunity to share openly about mental health and their perceptions of how Hip-Hop has influenced our culture and society.  They learned strategies to maintain their own mental health, as well as how to prioritize their mental health as they move forward in life.  In addition, students worked on projects that focus on improving their understanding and utilization of specific coping skills, triggers of common mental health disorders, local and statewide mental health resources, as well as critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Mental-Hop was also focused on student engagement, reducing the stigma associated with mental health concerns, and increasing understanding of the signs of mental health disorders.  As adolescence is a critical time for our young men and women as they learn to manage their behavioral and emotional needs, this program provided our students the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment, free from the fear of ridicule for their experience of anxiety, sadness, or aggression.