Dr. Michael Thompson, a clinical psychologist, school consultant and New York Times best-selling author, spoke to upper schoolers about mental health during a special assembly on December 7. Thompson had met with parents, faculty and staff, lower and middle school students and freshmen boys over his three-day visit.
Asking students questions–instead of lecturing on stage–Thompson kept students engaged and informed across grade levels, ranging from “How many hours of sleep did you get?” and “How often do your parents talk about going to a good college.” Both entertaining and serious student replies proved memorable.
Thompson corroborated answers by sharing his experiences with many perspectives from students at other schools he has visited. He also discussed the effect of the pandemic on mental health, increased anxiety among college students, and turning points in life–most significantly–college as not being one of them
Finally in a touching send-off, Thompson addressed seniors, who will soon trek into independence, noting how many parents may start behaving differently by attempting to be more present in their soon to be first-year college students. Thompson advised students to thank parents for their sacrifices, their guidance, and their moral values in raising them.
At the end of Thompson’s presentation, many a tear was shed. Not all of them by only the adults in the theatre.