April 9, 2021





Covering Wayne Township since 1933


Mental Health Awareness

“Teens today

need to know that

it’s okay to make


- Dr Phil Borders as

we approach

Mental Health

Awareness month in


Graphic by Atzel Nunez

2 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN April 9, 2021

“Teens today need to

know that it’s okay to make

mistakes, to not be overscheduled,

to engage with

each other in activities

that aren’t organized by

adults, and to be okay with

being uncertain about

their future.”

- Dr. Phil Borders

Are you stressed?

Anxiety among teenagers is constantly on the rise

By Mary Adams

lifestyle editor

“Everyone hates high school.”

“Everyone gets nervous


“But you’re so smart.”

“But you’re so happy.”

If you’re a teenager who has tried

to talk about mental health, chances

are you’ve heard these things

from an adult.

Despite what adults have said,

mental health issues have increased

in teenagers. Anxiety is one of the

issues that has been showing up a

lot with teenagers. There is a normal

amount of anxiety, like before

a test or switching schools, but this

type of anxiety comes and goes.

When you are anxious all the

time, it may affect your daily life.

It can lead to you not doing things

you enjoy anymore. This is when

anxiety is considered an anxiety


There are different types of anxiety.

There are three common anxiety

disorders in teenagers. These

disorders are Generalized Anxiety

Disorder (GAD), Social Phobia,

and Panic Disorder.

Dr. Phil Borders from Hendricks

Therapy sees these disorders frequently,

and not just among teenagers,

“The most common forms are

Generalized Anxiety Disorder,

which is basically excessive worry

or a heightened feeling of tension;

Social Phobia, which is the fear of

being observed and/or judged by

others; and Panic Disorder which

is an abrupt intense anxiety,” Borders


Different symptoms are rapid

breathing, an increasing heart rate,

trouble focusing, and trouble falling

asleep. Many people experience

anxiety differently, so you

should know your body and how

anxiety may show up.

Anxiety leads some people to

anxiety attacks. Anxiety attack

can come on slowly, like when

something important is coming up.

The symptoms vary with each

person, and they may change as

your body changes. Some common

symptoms are dizziness, sweating,

and restlessness. However, there

are different coping mechanisms

people can use.

“Good coping mechanisms are

seeking out friends and family

(isolation makes anxiety worse),

physical activity, journaling, and

getting a good night sleep,” Borders

said. “Also, contrary to popular

opinion, don’t smoke weed.”

Getting professional help also

helps teenagers. Some people like

individual or group therapy, and

some people use medications.

Dr. Borders also said that teenagers

today have more anxiety than

past generations. This is from the

push of college and being successful

later in life, rather than letting

us enjoy the present.

“From early on, they are taught

to compete instead of enjoying

life,” Borders said of today’s teenagers,

“Most of the teenagers that

I see have perfectionistic tendencies

which causes them to feel they

are always falling short of expectations

and to believe that they just

need to work harder in order to feel

good about themselves.”

Stress in teens can come from

school, parents, or social expectations.

In the past year, teens have had

to change everything. We had to

learn how to manage grades and get

ready for college all online. Some of

us are still figuring out who we are

and what we want to do, and it’s

harder when we have to do it from

isolation in our bedroom.

“Teens today need to know that

it’s okay to make mistakes, to not

be over-scheduled, to engage with

each other in activities that aren’t

organized by adults, and to be okay

with being uncertain about their

future,” Borders said.

Even with that advice, anxiety

remains an issue for teens. The key

remains identifying the issues and

seeking help.


of today’s teens

suffer from an

axiety disorder

Reasons cited for higher anxiety among teens:

• Increased empahsis on standardized testing

• Social media use

• School lockdowns and safety drills

• Increased pressure to succeed

• Isolation

In 1985, 18% of teenagers

felt overwhelmed and

anxious, today that number is





affects every aspect

of your life. It makes

you have a negative,

sometimes hopeless

outlook on life and

even warps your


- Lauren Wyattt

First rule, find help

Wyatt offers advice on how to deal with depression

By Raelynn Hughes

staff writer

Science teacher Lauren Wyatt

admits to battling depression

for the past six years.

She offers advice and her thoughts

on how to deal with mental health


“After a traumatic event about

six years ago, I had a very negative

outlook on life and became very depressed,”

Wyatt said. “I felt that to

get through that time, I needed to

get professional help.

“For the last 5-6 years, I have

sought professional help from a

counselor, therapist, my family

doctors, and a psychiatrist. The last

six years have had a lot of highs and

lows, but I finally feel stable - I’m

the person I want to be.”

When did you find out you had depression?

“I think that my clinical depression

was triggered by the traumatic

event, but I started struggling in

middle school.

“Just before middle school, my

family moved a lot. In four years

I went to four different schools,

Wyatt’s advice for help

Here are some ways Lauren Wyatt says you can receive help if you

feel you suffer from depression.

Counseling & therapy: “You don’t need a referral from a doctor to see a counselor,

therapist, or social worker. You can choose anyone based on their location, reviews,

and specialty. Call the main office to make an appointment”

See a psychiatrist: “If you’re interested in what medications may help, you can go to

a psychiatrist. Here are the general steps

1. Make an appointment with any family physician to get a referral to a psychiatrist.

Family physicians can write prescriptions for depression and anxiety, but seeing a

psychiatrist next is the best route

2. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. It may take a month to get a newpatient


Medications “There is nothing wrong with taking medications. It will take a few

weeks to a month for you to start seeing results. You may have a few weird side effects

during that time, but they’ll go away. If you want to change your medication or

dosage - talk to your psychiatrist first. Don’t go cold turkey. Take the meds every day

at the same time every day - otherwise, you could have side effects.”

If you have any questions or are wanting to seek help, please contact Ms.Wyatt at lauren.wyatt@


which is hard on a kid. My brother,

whom I looked up to, became depressed

and rebellious; I followed

in his footsteps.

“I didn’t get along with my parents

anymore, I cut myself, and

had extremely low self-esteem. I

went on a lot of different diets and

skipped meals even though I was

a healthy size. I focused on school

in high school and college and life

was much better. Major depressive

disorder, aka clinical depression,

runs in the family. My mother and

brother have both been treated for

depression and anxiety; my father

was abused and should have sought

out help a long time ago.”

What are the steps you took to help?

“As mentioned before, I sought

professional help from a counselor,

therapist, my family doctors, and

a psychiatrist. Initially, I talked to

my parents about what had happened

and went to my family doctor

to start on an antidepressant.

After a year, I tried a new antidepressant

because I felt ‘blah’.

“Unfortunately, the new antidepressant

caused me to have a lot

of suicidal thoughts so I switched

again to the med I’m on now. Later,

I started seeing a therapist through

IU Health; this was extremely

helpful. I went to my family doctor

again for a mood-stabilizer to

help with my ups and downs. I also

went to couples counseling with

my fiance to help with the challenges

we were facing.

“The best thing I did was see a

psychiatrist - he was able to tweak

my meds and dosages so I had fewer

side effects. I feel like my old self


Are you still battling depression now?

“Yes and no. I would say yes because

when I get upset, I still spiral

into despair. Usually, it’s triggered

by relationship issues or tragedies

happening in the world; things that

are out of my control still affect me


“I would also say no because

I don’t inexplicably become depressed

or irritable like I used to.”

How has it affected your life?

“Depression affects every aspect

of your life. It makes you have a

negative, sometimes hopeless outlook

on life and even warps your

reality. It has strained relationships

and made me feel like I can’t handle

my job or responsibilities. I used to

feel weak because I needed meds

and therapy, but I don’t see it that

way anymore.

“On the positive side, because I

have been open about my mental

health with students, students

have opened up to me about their

own struggles and reached for support.

I think that everything difficult

we go through helps us to be

more empathetic and supportive

of others experiencing similar difficulties.”

Lastly, what is advice you would give

someone who is battling depression alone?

“The worst thing you can do

is battle depression by yourself.

It sounds cliche and repetitive,

but get help. Reach out to family,

friends, and teachers. Sign up to see

a therapist. Get a referral from your

family doctor to see a psychiatrist.”


How does social

media affect

mental heath?

The steady decline in teen’s mental health is linked to social media use

By Lexie Bordenkecher


Facebook was created in 2004,

Twitter in 2006, Instagram

in 2010, Snapchat in 2011, and

TikTok in 2016.

As teens, we have been exposed

to social media our entire lives.

Whether it was profiles of our own,

or our parents talking about us on

their Facebook, it has always been


Many adults like to blame everything

on cell phones or social media

usage, but how much does this actually

affect us?

The current generation of teens

are showing signs of mental illness

at a rate like never before. It is so

easy to say, “oh, it’s because you’re

always on that phone” or “that’s

what social media does to you”. But

is that actually the problem?

Sure, social media can make us

feel insecure about our bodies and

beauty. And yes, teenagers spend

a lot of their time on their phones.

However, maybe there are other

reasons for the anxiety that teens

have now.

The world that we live in is scary

• 1 in 3 adolescents

between 13-18 will

experience an anxiety


• Between 2007-2012

anxiety disorders

in kids and teens

went up 20%

• 75% of teens have

at least one active

social media profile

• 48% of teens that

spend at least 5

hours a day on an

electronic device

have at least one

suicide risk factor

and sad. The use of social media

does enhance that, but not for the

reasons most adults think.

Many teen girls suffer from eating

disorders or body issues, and

that can be linked to the exposure

to a certain body type at a young

age. The idea that what you put

online will stay there forever and

can haunt you in the future is also

a very unsettling component. However,

the news that we are exposed

to might be a bigger factor.

When adults ask teens if they

watch the news, the most common

answer is no. But that doesn’t mean

that they don’t stay informed.

Many teens get their news from

Twitter or another online platform.

And while adults find that easy to

roll their eyes at, it’s not like the

news they see is any different.

Our generation has been plagued

with the burden of school shootings

and domestic terrorism. Since

we were in elementary school, we

have seen these tragedies reported

online and explained to us in


There is a reality to social mendia

use and mental health. The Anxiety

and Depression Association of

America (ADAA) reports that 20%

of people who have at least one social

media account feel they have

to check them at least once every

three hours to avoid feeling anxious.

This has its own name: social

media anxiety disorder.

The condition is similar to social

and other anxiety disorders, which

the ADAA states are the most common

mental illnesses in the U.S.

The symptoms of social media

anxiety disorder include the following:

• Stopping to check social

media in the middle of a


• Spending more than six

hours each day using social


• Lying about the amount of

time spent on social media

• Withdrawing from family

and friends

• Failing in attempts to cut

back on social media use

• Neglecting or losing interest

in school, work and favorite


• Experiencing severe nervousness,

anxiety or withdrawal

symptoms when not

able to check social media

• Having an overwhelming

desire to share on social media


Ignorance is bliss. Not knowing

all of the cruelties that go on in the

world sounds so nice and stressfree,

but no one can live like that.

Younger kids are beginning to

realize the real issues that exist,

and anxiety does come with that,

but so does intelligence.

So yes, social media does seem

to increase anxiety. But, a lot of the

anxiety comes from exposure to

the brutal world we live in, and at

an age where we aren’t necessarily

ready to know about it yet.

Not all social media is bad, but

guidance is needed for appropriate

use of this educational tool. Like

anything, the more you know about

it, the better.

Parents want to protect their

children from the world, but

knowledge is powerful. Seeing

graphic videos of school shootings

or pictures of domestic violence is

not something that an 11-year-old

should have to see. It shouldn’t be

normal for them.

So maybe the issue that needs to

be fixed is the hate and crime in the


Of course, there should be age restrictions

on social media and parents

should know what their children

are exposed to. But we are in

the age of technological and media


Perhaps parents should be ready

to discuss the problems in the

world with their kids, even if they

don’t think they’re old enough. It is

inevitable that teens will see things

online that makes them anxious, so

now is the time to figure out a way

to help reduce that anxiety.

New club has changes in mind

Bring Change 2 Mind will

give students a safe place

By Brentton Wharton

staff writer

One thing the faculty and staff

are working hard to do is create a

safe space for students to gather

and express themselves.

Mental illness in high school

aged teens is normal in today’s

society, and those who struggle

with mental health issues need

a place they can go to ease their

minds. That place is being created

by English teacher Paisley

Kleinhenz, with the help of art

teacher Allison Knudsen and

Shayla Hampton, in the form of

a brand new club starting in 2021

at Ben Davis.

The club is called Bring Change

2 Mind, named after the national

mental health education organization.

The club will aim to provide a

safe space for students struggling

with any mental health related issues

to find peace. Whether you

want to talk to someone, share

stories, sit and read or paint, you

will be able to do what you need

to take your focus away from

your problems.

There will be an array of activities

available for any and

everyone. Just like the national

organization, there will also be

numerous opportunities for education

on different topics all surrounding

mental health.

Bring Change 2 Mind is all

about honesty and openness.

Anyone willing to come in and

share personal stories are highly

encouraged to do just that. The

goal is to make everyone in the

club feel safe and welcomed and

make it a place for any student in

need of support to go.

“I would want to let all the

students know that they belong

here,” Kleinhenz said.

The club is a great opportunity

for anyone interested in learning

about mental health, any students

or teachers interested in

being a part of a support system

for others, or anyone who may

just be in need of some people to

talk to.

For Kleinhenz this is an opportunity

to give back and be

support for everyone around her.

She described what it was like

to experience mental illness first

hand with her son, and how she

missed all of the signs pointing to

the issue.

She does not want any student

to go unnoticed, and Bring

Change 2 Mind is her opportunity

to make a difference in the lives

of students who may be struggling.

She wants every student to

know that they are not alone and

will always be welcomed with

open arms into the Bring Change

2 Mind family.

Bring Change 2 Mind will officially

be a club at Ben Davis

starting at the beginning of the

2021-2022 school year. This club

is open to any and all students, no

matter what they may or may not

be dealing with.

The Bring Change 2 Mind family

will be there to support, listen,

teach, and most of all have

fun with everyone. If interested

in joining, see any of the three

teachers involved in its creation.

April 9, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlght


How does

exercise help


and anxiety?

Regular exercise may

help ease depression and

anxiety by:

• Releasing feel-good

endorphins, natural

cannabis-like brain

chemicals (endogenous


and other natural

brain chemicals

that can enhance

your sense of wellbeing

• Taking your mind

off worries so you

can get away from

the cycle of negative

thoughts that

feed depression and


Regular exercise has

many psychological and

emotional benefits, too. It

can help you:

• Gain confidence.

Meeting exercise

goals or challenges,

even small ones,

can boost your selfconfidence.


in shape can also

make you feel better

about your appearance.

• Get more social interaction.


and physical activity

may give you the

chance to meet or

socialize with others.

Just exchanging

a friendly smile

or greeting as you

walk around your

neighborhood can

help your mood.

• Cope in a healthy

way. Doing something

positive to

manage depression

or anxiety is

a healthy coping

strategy. Trying to

feel better by drinking

alcohol, dwelling

on how you feel,

or hoping depression

or anxiety will

go away on its own

can lead to worsening


Physical activity is any

activity that works your

muscles and requires energy

and can include work

or household or leisure activities.

Exercise is a planned,

structured and repetitive

body movement done to

improve or maintain physical


Physical activity vital for strong mental health

We all know there are

many ways to help

cope with mental illnesses.

But when talking about

mental health, the physical part

may be the most important.

Aerobic exercises like jogging,

swimming, walking, and even

dancing could help. There have

been many reviews on how yoga

can reduce exaggerated stress and

help for both depression and anxiety.

Exercise has also been found to

alleviate symptoms like low self-esteem

and social withdrawal. There

are other improvements that come

from exercise like reduced tiredness,

improvement in mood, stress

relief and so much more.

“The single most important

thing you can do to enhance your

brain’s function and resiliency

to disease is exercise,” strength

coach Kevin Vanderbush said.

“Physical exertion has thus far been

the only thing we have scientifically

documented to improve brain

health and function. Exercise has

been shown to help those that are

depressed, lack energy, have trouble

sleeping - all of which are factors

in one’s mental health.”

Though many teens don’t want

to become active and just want to

sit in front of a TV or their phones,

just getting up and walking more

around your house could possibly


Marci Royalty teaches athetic

training and a big part of her class

is talking about mental health.

“Mental wellness is important

for everyone,” Royalty said. “Coping

mechanisms are so individual

so there is not one that I prefer over

the other.”

Here are a few exercises that you

could do and their effects:

If you try yoga out, it can help

you feel relaxed and stress free.

If you like dancing, then it could

“The single most important thing

you can do to enhance your brain’s

function and resiliency to disease

is exercise.”

- strength coach Kevin Vanderbush

Take care of your body,

By Laura Fowler

staff writer

it’s where you live

help lift your mood and ease your


Swimming could help reduce depression,

anxiety, and could even

help improve your sleep patterns.

And yes, a simple 30 minute daily

walk will have several positive results

on your health.

There are so many different

ways to help you cope with mental

health, all you have to do is get up

and move.


shows that any physical activity you

can get involved in will help with

mainatining a healthy body. Athletic

training teacher Marci Royalty

(left) demonstartes proper stretching

techniques that are a vital part

of a well-rounded exercise program.

Physical education classes during this

Covid year have been limited mainly to

weight lifting (below left) and walking

(below right), where physical education

teacher Corey Taylor talks with

senior Jayden Brewer during a class

walk. Most research supports that a

daily routine of at least 30 minutes of

physical activity will improve your

overall health. (Photos by Atzel Nunez

and Brooklynn Sharp)

“Everyone can help themselves

just by moving,” Royalty said.

“Mental care starts with physical

care and it doesn’t matter what the

physical activity is, as long as you

are active.”

6 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN April 9, 2021

Need a break?

Take a break

By Brooklynn Sharp

staff writer

Staff relaxation rooms offer chance for a solitary moment

Taking care of your mental health is

important at every stage of your life.

That became even more evident during

the year-long pandemic when life changes

at every turn.

That is the basic reason behind creating

three new staff relaxation stations around


“We knew that staff and students are

struggling with their emotional, social, and

mental health through the pandemic and this

gives them a space to focus on working on

those things,” said media specialist Shannon

Rose, who organized the creation of each

space. “Each station has signs posted on how

to take deep breaths and positive messages.

The goal is to be proactive and to be sure

we’re in a good mental space.”

The staff relaxation stations are open to

any Ben Davis staff member throughout the

day. The goal is to give staff members a place

to step away from their daily role and take a

few minutes to relax.

“They are spaces that we created to help

staff members with their mental and emotional

health,” Rose said. “They are areas in

the building for staff to decompress and reset.”

Each room is named. The Cave is located in

C hall downstairs, The Bridge is in upstairs

T hall and The Beach is in upstairs AA hall.

Each room has a chair, water, sound machine,

lights and journals. The funding to

create these areas came from a grant obtained

through the Wayne Township Education


“The rooms have things that appeal to the

senses,” Rose said. “They all have a sound

machine and a happy light. It really is just a

place to step away for a few minutes and take

a deep breath.”

Teachers seem to enjoy the opportunity.

“It’s a place to sit and gather your

thoughts,” business teacher Lisa Bugay said.

“It’s nice have that when you need it.”

Rose said she does not track how many

staff have used the rooms, but has heard numerous

positive comments from staff members.

Research shows that five to 10 minutes of

relaxing per day can decrease stress, slow

your heart rate and lower blood pressure.

TAKING A BREAK Staff members Adam Pearish (above), Shannon

Rose (middle) and Shannon Singleton (far right) rest in the

staff relaxation rooms. Each room also contains journals for staff to

use if they wish. (Photos by Brooklynn Sharp)

Five ways the sun improves mental heatlh

Increased Vitamin D

Vitamin D has some important functions in the body. It promotes reduced inflammation and modulates cell growth. It’s also very hard to get enough from food

sources alone. The sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D, and it only takes 5-15 minutes of sunlight a few times a week to notice a difference.

Improved mood

It turns out “sunny disposition” is more than just an expression: Researchers at BYU found more mental health distress in people during seasons with little sun

exposure. On the contrary, days with plenty of sunshine were associated with better mental health — in fact, the availability of sunshine has more impact on mood

than rainfall, temperature, or any other environmental factor.

Higher quality sleep

That serotonin you soak up from the sun’s rays does more than boost your mood – it might also help you get more restful sleep at night. Working in tandem with

serotonin is melatonin, a chemical in your brain that lulls you into slumber and one that sun also helps your body produce.

Stronger Bones

Remember how Vitamin D does some pretty important stuff for your body? Low Vitamin D has been linked to diseases like osteoporosis and rickets, and one of the

most specific benefits of Vitamin D is earning stronger bones and teeth. Move over, calcium!

Lower Blood Pressure

When sunlight hits your skin, your body releases something called nitric oxide into your blood. This compound brings down blood pressure and improves heart

health. Maintaining healthy blood pressure can reduce your risks of cardiac disease and stroke. Feelings of relaxation may also naturally bring down blood pressure,

so boosting your happiness by soaking up rays also aids in keeping your pressure down.

April 9, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlght


Life in a time of death

Wilson turns tragedy into lifelong awareness

By Denise Gimlich

opinions editor

It is a day Danielle Wilson will

never forget and a day she never

wants to forget.

In May of 2012, Wilson came

home and witnessed her brother

commit suicide. The next day she

was at school and spent the entire

day writing about her thoughts and

feelings in her adopted home of the

Keyhole class in X hall.

“I needed an outlet and writing

was my outlet,” Wilson said. “I

needed that time to compile and

write about

what I was


The article

she developed

that day went

on to win numerous


for column

writing, but

her goal was to

bring awareness

to a bad


Danielle’s brother was Jacob Lee

Wilson. He was a senior here, died

at the young age of 18.

Danielle, who is now studying at

Ball State majoring in writing, uses

Jacob’s death as a rallying cry to

bring awareness to mental health

issues that can result in suicide.

Danielle knows the grief associated

with suicide first-hand.

“They are definitely real,” she

said about the stages of grief she

went through. “Some just stay in

some stages longer than others.

I was in the anger stage for quite

some time.”

Danielle remembers feeling

numb the weeks following Jacob’s


“It didn’t seem like much of a funeral,

it didn’t occur to me that he

was really gone,” she recalled.

Suicide is the 10th most leading

cause of death in the United States.

Suicide is the act of intentionally

causing one’s own death. People

commonly view suicide as an alternate

way out of misery. Some view

it as weakness, but others view it

“It didn’t seem like

much of a funeral, it

didn’t occur to me

that he was really


- Danielle Wilson on the death

of her brother in 2012

as the only way out. Although there

are two sides to every story, should

the suicidal be frowned upon?

Should the suicidal be viewed as

selfish for committing suicide?

In a way the choice of suicide

was selfish because the person left

behind many loved ones and family.

Although they left their loved ones

behind, they also got to leave behind

their depressive feelings and

thoughts. They finally got to experience


Although their actions were no

doubt wrong, most of the suicidal

have a hard time admitting to others

the severity of their unhappiness


come to find

out their

families had

no idea of

their depression.


was Danielle.

“I just

wish I have

known before

he died

that he needed

help,” she said of her brother.

Since graduating from Ben Davis,

Wilson has studied at Ball State

and will earn her degree this May.

She openly discusses her brothers

death and is an advocate for suicide

and mental health awareness.

“I hate saying ‘if only I had

known’ but that is the truth,” she


So how can you stop someone

from doing something you are unaware

of? To be honest. there isn’t

a way to stop suicide. The suicidal

admit to themselves they didn’t

want to be here anymore.

For every suicide, there are 25 attempts.

If we can figure out a way

to stop people from attempting suicide,

then we can cut back on the

numbers lost due to suicide.

So figuring out the trigger and

locating that safety lock will hopefully

end a great amount of suicide.

If you are in a crisis, please call the

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or

contact the the Crisis Text Line by

texting TALK to 741741

SHE’S AN ADVOCATE Ben Davis graduate Danielle Wilson poses with the article she wrote in May of 2012 the day after

she witnessed her brother commit suicide. She has been an advoctae of Mental Health Awareness ever since. (Photo by

Tom Hayes)

Every day, approximately 123

Americans die by suicide.

There is one death by suicide in the

U.S. every 12 minutes.

Depression affects 20-25% of

Americans ages 18+ in a given


80% -90% of people that seek treatment

for depression are treated

successfully using therapy and/or


An estimated quarter million

people each year become suicide





Lexie Bordenkecher

Opinions editor:

Denise Gimlich

Lifestyle editor:

Mary Adams

Sports editor:

Zion Brown



Aaron Ayala, Allison Flores,

Sophie Dorrance-Minch, Frida

Fonseca, Laura Fowler, Raelynn

Hughes, Aliyah Mitchell, Atzel

Nunez, James McNeal, Corbin

Robinson, Brooklynn Sharp, Nick

Wert, Brentton Wharton


Tom Hayes


Sandra Squire

Spotlight is the official newspaper of

Ben Davis High School. It was created

and is maintained by the Board of

Education of the Metropolitan School

District of Wayne Township as part of

the curriculum of the school district.

Its purpose is to allow students to

develop and refine their skills as

journalists under the supervision of the

principal, Sandra Squire, and faculty

of Ben Davis High School.

Spotlight represents and exemplifies

Ben Davis High School and is not a

public or open forum. The principal

and faculty of Ben Davis High School

are therefore charged by the Board of

Education with the responsibility of

exercising editorial oversight to ensure

that contents of Spotlight reflect

Wayne Westside Community Values,

which may be found on the Wayne

website and are available upon request

from Ben Davis High School.

It is the policy of Spotlight to accept

letters to the editor from all readers.

All readers must be signed and

verified for permission. The editor

reserves the right to edit the letter for

journalistic and grammar purposes as

well as to maintain a safe environment

and to exempt prohibited material.

Letters to the editor can be submitted

to Tom Hayes in room X109 or to the

editors. Letters can also be e-mailed to

Tom Hayes at tom.hayes@wayne.k12.

in.us or to the editors.

Readers who submit letters sent via

e-mail must see either Tom Hayes or

the editors for verification if they wish

to be published.

Businesses interested in advertising

in Spotlight should contact Tom Hayes

at 317-988-7148. Spotlight publishes

at least six issues per school year and

the online version can be found at

www.bdspotlight.com Advertising

rates are available upon request.

Talk is good start

When discussing mental health issues, best to be open and honest

Mental Health Awareness

month started in 1949 by

the Mental Health America.

Since then, the month has been

used as a time to bring awareness

to illnesses that are often overlooked

and sometimes just quietly


Each year Mental Health America

has a theme and this year they

are continuing the 2020 theme of

Tools 2 Thrive, which is an online

kit they provide that gives tips and

tricks on how to discuss and deal

with mental health issues.

Spotlight surveyed its staff on

their thoughts regarding mental

health. While we recognize we are

not experts on the subject, we also

realize we witness mental health

issues daily among our peers.

The overwhelming concern

brought up was communication.

Junior Mary Adams summed up

most teens feelings perfectly when

she said, “Mental health should be

talked about more, especially starting

at a young age. Many people

will tell teenagers that ‘school is

hard for everyone’, ‘you’re on your

phone too much,’ or ‘it’s part of being

a teenager’ whenever we bring

up mental health.

“Teachers should discuss the importance

of mental health more often

and discuss how to get helped

when needed. It should be talked

about all year, rather than just a

week or so in Impact. Teachers

should also check on their students

more often. If a normally good student

starts falling behind, a teacher

should check on them, rather than

punish them immediately by putting

in bad grades.”

Mental health issues have been

Self-care is crucial for teens

The small

things can

make a change

By Aliyah Mitchell

staff writer

Mental illness in teens is a serious

thing. One in five young teens

suffer from mental illness every day.

Fifty percent of mental illnesses

start at the young age of 14 years

old. The most common mental

health issues in teens is anxiety and

depression. The causes can lead

to lack of sleep, substance abuse,

social media overuse and lack of

physical activity.

Our stand: Recognizing mental health issues is

a concern the health industry has had for years.

Simple communication is a start, but being

aware and having honest conversations is going

deeper into recognizing what causes mental

health issues. Having a month (May) dedicated

to mental health awareness is nice, but it takes

more than a month and more than a campaign

to solve most of these concerns.

discussed nationally for years. It

has even gotten to the point that

almost every mass shooting comes

down to mental health issues suffered

by the person doing the


So how do we recognize mental

health issues? That is the most difficult

question facing health professionals

and there is no easy answer.

“I think society handles these issues

pretty poorly considering how

generally expensive mental health

services are,” senior Zion Brown

said. “As a society we should just

check in on people more casually

and listen to what they’re saying.”

Sometimes teenagers say the

most basic things that are difficult

to work out in every day life. “Casually

listen to what they’re saying”

is so simple, yet speaks volume to

what teenagers want. Do you hear


Mental health has become a huge

issue over the past pandemic year.

Students have been pushed to limits

never seen before and the back

and forth learning styles schools

have had to undertake since March

of 2020 have been difficult for

many -- and not just students -- to

handle. We recognize teachers and

adults have suffered through these

Puberty to

early adulthood

is a crucial

stage in a

persons development

so doing


you can to

keep a healthy

mental status

is important.

One easy way to help prevent

mental illness in teens can be from

just going to sleep early. Current

pressure on kids, teens, and young

adults emphasize success in academics

and sports, in addition to

dealing with peer pressure, and

sometimes part time jobs.

For many, early school start

times, overscheduling, and other

issues just like teemagers have.

“Society still shuts down those

with mental illnesses because they

don’t like anyone who is different,”

junior Laura Fowler said “People

should start talking about it more

and making more people aware

that most Americans and people

around the world do have mental


Awareness and communication

were the big themes brought up by

our staff.

“Identifying someone with a

mental health issue can be hard

and easy depending on how the

person copes with everything,”

sophomore Brooklynn Sharp said.

“Body language can be a big factor

as well as noticing their changes. If

someone starts to stay home more

and distance themselves from everyone,

it usually means they’re going

through a hard time with their

mental health.”

Sharp thinks people struggle because

society makes them struggle.

“Society in general handles mental

health okay,” she said. “I think

so many people struggle with it

and hear about it that it’s normalized

now. It’s not shocking to hear

someone have depression, anxiety,

PTSD, etc. Some people do seek

concerns take priority over sleep

time when sleep is important. Disruption

in sleep can cause mood

swings, hyperactivity, nervousness,

and aggressive behavior.

Substance use during the young

adult ages can also be associated

with later mental health problems.

Some studies show that the use

of marijuana at this age can later

cause psychotic symptoms.

Avoiding any type of substance at

all will benefit your mental health

so just always say no to drugs.

Social media is in a close second

when dealing with mental illness

for teens. Studies have shown that

social media alone is the cause for

depression, lack of sleep, loneliness,

self-harm, and even suicidal

thoughts. Turning off your phone

help and some don’t, which is why

I think society only handles this

situation ‘okay’.”

While Sharp agrees that talking

about these issues is crucial, she

takes it a step deeper.

“For anyone who is dealing with

a mental health issue, I think they

need to take time to themselves to

clean their mind and do everything

that makes them feel happy,” she

said. “I know some people have

a ‘depression room’ and I think

people with that could clean their

room when they feel ready and

start working on themselves. It’s

okay to see a therapist for help or a

doctor to get medication.”

Two words Sharp said should

ring loudly -- “It’s okay.”

It’s okay to suffer from mental issues.

It’s okay to talk about mental

health problems.

It’s okay to let have those days

and times when you want to be


It’s okay to not be OK.

That, perhaps, is our biggest

message: It’s okay if you suffer from

mental issues, just don’t do it alone.

Talk to someone -- a friend, your

parents, a teacher, or one of our

counselors who are more trained to

deal with these issues then anyone

else in our building.

It’s okay to recognize that mental

health issues are real and to admit

your are suffering.

“We have to make sure that

people know their issues are not

burdens, and that it’s okay to feel

things,” senior Brentton Wharton

said. “Nothing about it is crazy or

silly and they aren’t overreacting.

Once we make people feel comfortable

enough to speak up, we will

begin to progress.”

at a certain time, not bringing your

phone to bed, disabling your notifications,

limiting checks, and

removing social media apps altogether

are all ways to improve your

mental health and avoiding an unhealthy

relationship with social


So there are numerous small

changes you can make to your

lifestyle to improve your mental

health. It is worth the time it takes

to make these changes to be a happier


Having a good mental health will

make you feel happier throughout

the day, give you a sense of achievement,

it will provide you with a

healthier relationship with family

and friends, and also give you a

good night’s sleep.

April 9, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlght


Nurses find

home at BD

Geoghegan, Hayes bring

comfort to student body

By Brooklynn Sharp

staff writer

They both came to Ben Davis

to be on similar family

schedules. They both love

children and enjoy the opportunity

to be caregivers for today’s youth.

Meet your Ben Davis school

nurses -- Peggy Geoghegan and

Brittney Hayes. You will find them

located in the clinic near student

servies where they do everything

from administering medicines to

taking blood pressure to providing

ice packs when needed. And to offer

comfort to those who find they

need it.

Geoghegan is the veteran of the

staff. She is in her 20th year at Ben

Davis and likes working here mainly

because the schedule allowed her

to be near her daughter as she went

through Wayne schools and still allows

her plenty of family time.

“I wanted to be in a school system

with the same schedule,” Geoghegan

said. “That and working with

students are the best things about

this job.”

Geoghegan studied nursing at

Marion College and Indiana Wesleyan

University. She likes how

busy her days can be and the various

duties she performs.

“We do anything health/education

related to health,” she said.

“We deal with mental health issues

and a lot of immunization records.”

Hayes is in her second year at

Ben Davis. She also wanted to work

here because she likes the schedule

and she likes working with teenagers.

“I also appreciate that every day

is different,” said Hayes, who studied

nursing at Ivy Tech. “We get to

deal with a lot of different people

and a lot of different personalities.

I like that part of the job.”

Hayes also sees other benefits to

being a school nurse.

“Knowing that we are making

a difference every day to someone

makes the days better,” she said. “It

is an easy job when you know you

are making a difference.”

Both of them highly recommend

nursing as a career.

“Knowing that sometimes you

can make a difference to somebody

is special,” Geoghegan said.

She also offers advice to those

students thinking about going into


“Take as many as classes as you

can pertaining to your major in high

school to help you get your major,”

she said. “Keep pushing towards

what you want. It will pay off.”

SCHOOL NURSES Brittney Hayes (left) and Peggy Geoghegan are your Ben

Davis school nurses. They are available daily in the clinic next to student services.

(Photo by Brooklynn Sharp)

SEEK HELP French teacher Katie Rockabrand has battled depression for years. She urges anyone who is battling similar

illnesses to seek help and to be open to talking about your feelings. (Photo by Brooklynn Sharp)

Lessons learned

Duley, Rockabrand grow through tough times

By Raelynn Hughes

staff writer

All teachers are happy, cheerful

and full of glee. Right?


In fact, about one in 20 teachers

in the United States have suffered

from a mental health condition.

All of the teachers at Ben Davis

may seem happy but this too is not

correct. Just ask English teacher

Beth Duley or French teacher Katie


Duley graduated college in three

years and got her first teaching position

when she was barely 21. She

thought everything was on track

and perfect, until just before that


“I was having issues getting to

sleep, waking up in the middle of

the night with panic attacks.” Duley

said. “I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t

concentrate. The anxiety was really

bad. I felt worthless.”

Not only had she had trouble

sleeping, she also had thoughts of

hurting herself.

“I was suicidal for several

months,” she recalled. “My parents

didn’t know what to do. They

prayed a lot. My older sister got me

to go into the hospital. They found

a medicine that worked. I went

to counseling for a year after I got


Rockabrand has also had trouble

with mental health and depression.

“I was first diagnosed when I

was about 24 years old,” Rockabrand

said. “I had a bit of a breakdown

after leaving all that was familiar

to me when my husband and

I moved to Indiana. Later, after the

birth of my second child in 2002, I

knew something ‘wasn’t right’ but

it took me a while to realize that I

was suffering from postpartum depression.”

She, like Duley, also got prescribed

medicine for her health as

well, but Rockabrand’s journey

A HELPING HAND English teacher Beth Duley also is a big advocate of finding

help if you suffer from depression. (Photo by Ricardo Torres)

was a little harder with finding the

right medicine.

“I began seeing a psychiatrist and

taking medication she prescribed,”

Rockabrand said. “It has taken

years of trial and error to get my

prescription just right. Sometimes

medicines ‘stop working’ and that

is super frustrating to have to start

over with a new one, and begin the

trial and error all over again.”

Both teachers are still currently

battling with depression.

“It is a constant battle that can

‘flare up’ at any moment, literally

‘out of the blue’ and with no explanation

at all,” Rochabrand said. “I

struggle regularly with putting on

a happy face so others don’t worry

about me.

“The most common question

when someone knows I’m depressed

is ‘what happened?’, and to

that I rarely have an answer. I continue

to take medication and I meet

with a therapist once a month, or

more often if needed.”

While Rockabrand’s depression

is persistent, Duley’s doesn’t always

affect her life.

“I don’t fight depression all the

time,” Duley said. “Mine shows up

when really big life events hit: a

divorce, losing a job. Mine is somewhat

seasonal. Winter is sometimes

hard. There are studies that

lack of sunlight lowers vitamin D

levels, which can contribute to depression.”

Even though depression is a

sad and unhappy thing, Duley has

learned a lot from her battles.

“Depression has made me not

judge people as much,” she said. “I

can’t know how someone feels inside.

It’s made me humble: I know

I can’t handle everything alone. Depression

has made me question a

lot and think, maybe too much.

“I would advise anyone struggling

with depression to know that

it’s not their fault and it’s a real illness.

It’s not who they are. Don’t

try to do it alone. Get help.”

If you have any questions, or

need resources to get help, please

contact Ms.Duley beth.duley@

wayne.k12.in.us ,or Mrs.Rochabrand




Media misses

Happily watching

her drift away

An emotional story, told

with explosive anger

By Lee Christopher

staff writer

Borderline Personality Disorder,

(BPD), is a mental disease

that affects not only the

person diagnosed with it but everyone

around them.

There are nine common symptoms

of BPD -- the fear of abandonment,

unstable relationships,

unclear or shifting self-image, selfdestructive

behavior, self-harm,

extreme emotional swings, chronic

feelings of emptiness, explosive anger,

and feeling suspicious or out of

touch with reality.

I personally didn’t know about

this disease until recently, which

was when I viewed Steven Universe:

The Movie.

Steven Universe is an amazing

franchise, spanning across two different

series’ and an entire movie.

The series as a whole has given

us plenty of lovable, and yet very

emotional characters. This show

isn’t afraid to get a little sad, or

dark, and boy does Steven Universe:

The Movie prove that. Seriously, I’ve

not cried this much since the first

time I watched Final Fantasy VII: Advent


The movie begins with a happy

recap of the original series. In the

song “Happily Ever After”, each

of the original Crystal Gems sings

their own special part explaining

their journey through the series.

Steven overcame his mother’s

shadow. Pearl moved on and became

her own gem. Garnet explains

how she became Garnet and is just

happy that there was no discrimination

against her. And Amethyst

sings about how she escaped her

mind and learned to view herself

as an equal to her team members.

However, this moment of bliss

ends quickly, after the arrival of

this movie’s villain.


Spinel was a jester in the diamond

court, specifically formed to

entertain Pink Diamond. However,

Since Pink Diamond was gone,

Spinel was angry and attacked the

crystal gems. The movie as a whole

is just about fixing the damage Spinel

caused, and overcoming traumatic


This isn’t a review, this is a character

examination. Spinel is quite

literally one of the most dynamic

characters in this movie.

After being reset, Spinel goes

from her angry, scary, and psychotic

look to one of more innocence,

and naivete. This is when we start

seeing Spinel for who she is, or

rather, who she was formed to be.

For most of the movie, she tags

along with Steven, often referring

to herself as his “new best friend

Spinel”. This is quite the turnaround,

considering she was quite

literally trying to kill him a moment


One important point before

the song “Independent Together”,

which they used to use to bring

back Pearl. After Ruby and Sapphire

re-fuse into Garnet, Steven

sets off to find Amethyst. Spinel

tries to tag along, before being

turned down by Steven. This causes

Spinel to growl out a fast, and angry

“NO!”. Fear of abandonment?

Check. Steven agrees to take her,

to receive a much sweeter “Yay!!”.

This is really our first and only hint

as to what truly happened to Spinel

before “Independent Together”.

After the Steven-Greg fusion’s

debut, Spinel leaves the rock show

crying. Steven finds her in his personal

garden, crying on the warp

pad. After asking what’s wrong,

Spinel activates the warp, taking

them both back to where Spinel

never left. An old, run-down garden

in the middle of space.

Spinel explains that “This was

our garden. A special world, built

just for Pink and I”. But one day,

when Pink Diamond and Spinel

were playing, a call from Blue Diamond

explained that pink had her

own planet, the planet Earth.

Spinel was excited to play on

earth with Pink, but the small Diamond

decided to leave Spinel in

the garden. Pink Diamond tricked

Spinel into staying in the garden,

explained in the song “Drift Away.”

The song reads, “Here in the garden,

let’s play a game. I’ll show you

how it’s done. Here in the Garden,

stand very still. This’ll be so much


Pink Diamond’s game was for

Spinel to literally stand still on a

floating garden in space and left her

there for 6,000 years. This feeds her

fear of abandonment and is a sign of

an unstable relationship.

Pink, in her eyes, has outgrown

and wishes to be free of Spinel. Of

course, she’d be mad. However,

whenever Steven takes her back

to earth, she finds her Rejuvenator

from the beginning and immediately

begins deteriorating once more.

She blows up at Steven, saying

he’s gonna poof her again since she

took the poison out of the planet.

This causes Spinel to attack again,

releasing all of the bio-poison into

the earth. Steven and Spinel duke

it out after Steven’s gem returns to

normal, and the end of the fight is

where we see more signs of BPD.

She sadly bangs on Steven’s shield


“I used to be just not good

enough. Just not good enough for

Pink! But now… now… I’m not good

at all!”.

She begins crying, laughing softly

to herself, questioning why she’s

doing what she is doing, and saying

that she only wanted a friend. This

is a sign of an unclear or shifting

self-image. Spinel is questioning

why she’s doing this. Why is she

lashing out?

Spinel’s journey ends with a selfreflection.

She acknowledges that

she really messed up bad with making

friends with the Crystal Gems,

and instead, leaves with the three

remaining diamonds, Yellow, Blue,

and White.

Steven Universe: The Movie is one of

my favorite movies, Spinel being my

favorite character in this film. Steven

Universe: The Movie hit shelves on

September 2, 2019. It is available to

rent on various sites like YouTube,

Prime Video, and Vudu. However,

it is included with an HBO Max

subscription. I highly recommend

this for a musical tale of betrayal,

and recovery.


Mentally ill characters tend to

lean toward violence

By Sophie Dorrance-Minch

staff writer

The media is rather atrocious

when it comes to portraying mentally

ill characters.

Arguably, they’re portrayed like

they suffer the same issues and

their mental illnesses making them

appear completely off. Did the creators

even bother to research what

mental illnesses they want their

characters’ to have?

Presumably not.

The consequences

of making mentally

ill characters without

much knowledge over

the mental illnesses

themselves would be tropes emerging

from the repetition of falsely using

the disorder/syndromes on the

characters. To go in depth with the

media’s face of mentally ill characters,

consider the common traits of

a mentally ill character.

There’s usually violent tendencies:

Individuals who aren’t

mentally sound tend to be hostile

according to the media. They’re

pinned for being responsible for

primary causes of violence and

honestly, the truth is, there’s more

mentally disturbed people who are

victims than the people reinforcing

the impudent acts.

They look distinct: Stereotypically,

those who suffer a mental

illness have messy hair, crazy eyes,

and they stand out from their sane


Mental health disorders are

all the same, but extreme: The

media frequently clumps disorders

together in the same category. In

reality, the majority of people suffering

disorders don’t suffer severe


They never recover: Mentally

ill characters in the media almost

never recover and even when they

do, it’s temporary. This fictional

delusion caused people to believe

there’s no hope for those who experience

mental illnesses.Truthfully,

medication, therapy, and support

from loved ones greatly helps with


Mental hospitals are merciless:

Although mental hospitals in the

18th century used physical treatment

to “cure” mental illnesses

such as isolation and keeping hostile

patients under restraints, modern

institutions aren’t dim or damp

as they were described in the media.

People even volunteer to assist

facilities and they’re not the typical

malevolent doctors.

Mental Ill characters are childish:

Several shows and films have

portrayed mentally ill characters as

being childish, treating their disorders

as mere quirks that are a joke

to the audience and readers. Some

of them are even both childish and

psychotic such as Shiro from Deadman


Essentially, you can easily tell

when a character suffers from disorders

if they’re messy, hostile,

don’t recover easily, and they inhabit

facilities that are brutal and

malevolent doctors accompany


Not all mentally ill

individuals are like this.

Because of the misunderstandings,


discourage recovery,

cause isolation out of

fear, negatively influence others of

their beliefs, promote discrimination,

create the perspective of mentally

ill individuals being outcasts,

and damage self-image.

The media -- in this case mainly

television shows and movies -- is

quite powerful and we rely on

sources to attain knowledge. We

don’t know whether the knowledge

given to us is right or wrong,

so that makes us fall victim to falsely

interpreting information. How

can we reduce the stigma of mental


Seek medical professionals to obtain

accurate information, choose

proper language while describing

mental illnesses, ask people if mental

health is relevant to the story,

provide a positive light for mental

problems, carefully analyze websites,

allow the characters to recover,

meet and connect with real

life people who have the same mental

illnesses you want to portray in

your stories, and consider the consequences

of portraying mental illnesses


For those of you who desire to

portray mental illnesses, keep an

eye out for glamourizing mental

problems, misuse of medical terminology,

sensationalist reporting,

impertinent language, and other

inaccuracies while doing research.

Good luck finding proper information.

Honestly, mentally ill characters

aren’t even human as they all act

too similar.

What makes a character more

relatable to us is if they aren’t glamoured

into a rampaging psychopath

or personify the symptoms and not

have any other traits; they should

actively try to seek help and gain

some character development as

they recover

What the new era of creators

need is if they can be more careful

when they express mentally ill

characters and avoid cliches.

April 9, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlght


Counselors are here for you

What they

do goes

far beyond


By Brentton Wharton

staff writer

Here at Ben Davis there is a

family environment unlike

any other.

The support given from adults to

students is something you don’t see

at all schools, and it’s something

the counselors here at Ben Davis

work hard to maintain. Ever so

prevalent in teenagers these days

are mental illnesses and a huge part

of our counselors jobs is to provide

a safe space for students to go in

moments of need.

Sherman Woodard is the deartment

chair of the couseling staff

and is a graduate of Ben Davis. In

his time here both as a studen and

counselor, Woodard has encountered

just about everything imagineable.

He talks about the rising crisis

that is mental health issues in teens,

and the support that the counselors

offer to students. One thing people

often forget is that a school counselor’s

job goes far beyond deciding

what class a student has sixth period.

School counseling is actually a

mental health college degree.

For years they receive schooling

and training to handle pressure

situations. At Ben Davis, the counselors

want to be the shoulder to

lean on for students in need, and

continuously work to ensure all

students have a safe place to go if

they ever need.

Woodard described mental

health as having a stigma placed

upon it, one we have to work together

to get rid of.

DEPARTMENT CHAIR Sherman Woodard serves as department chair for our school counselors. A graduate of Ben Davis, Woodard encourages any student to

seek help from his staff at any time during the school year. (Photo by Corbin Robinson)

“If my foot were broken I’d go

to the doctor,” he said. “We have

no apprehension asking for help in

other areas.”

Oftentimes we let fear of other

people’s opinions dictate how we

react to our personal problems and

that’s one of the biggest problems

when it comes to mental health.

Woodard says that it’s important

to know that going to counseling

isn’t crazy, and that it’s something

that is pivotal for those who

need it.

“It is not weak to get help,” Mr.

Woodard said.

For anyone dealing with mental

health issues there is always support,

no matter the issue. You are

never alone in your struggle, and

someone is there to help you. Our

counselors prioritize the needs and

feelings of the students, and commit

to making sure everyone has a

safe place.

Oftentimes while dealing with

our own issues we feel as if no one

will understand the things we are

going through, but that is not true.

Even many of the adults at Ben

Davis have some sort of personal

connection to mental illness,

whether through a friend, family

member or themselves.

“Mental health issues have permeated

my life,” Woodard said.

One of the first steps towards

erasing the stigma on mental health

is acknowledging that it’s okay not

to be okay, and a way to do that is

just by sharing our own stories.

Mental illness is okay to talk

about, and should be talked about.

Relating with people on that level

only makes it easier to seek and accept


Everyone knows that dealing

with life during this pandemic has

caused an eruption in the amount

of people who develop mental

health issues. The counselors at Ben

Davis created a google classroom

where they have provided resources

for anyone who may be struggling

with their mental health. Our

counselors are always available to

help students handle their grief or

refer them to other outlets for support

and assistance.

There is help everywhere for

anyone struggling with mental illness,

even right here at school.

Our counselors care about you

and want you to be safe and secure.

They want you to know that you

are not alone, and they are always

there for you. To listen, to talk, to

help. Just ask.



Assignment Title Name Phone #

A-B Counselor Beth Ornelas 988-7018

C-E Counselor Andrea Norcross 988-7021

F-HL Counselor Jamika Jones 988-7016

Hm-Mar Counselor Kaylen Weiper (Wanek) 988-7020

Mas-Pe Counselor Susan Williams 988-7015

Pf - Sm Counselor Brian Abney 988-7013

Sn - St Dept. Chair Sherman Woodard 988-7012

Su - Z Counselor Sonya Hicks 988-7017

College Admissions Y. A. Perez 988-7014

Associate Principal Matt Clodfelter 988-7030

Admin. Asst. Tammy Mitchell 988-7361

Admin.Asst. to Woodard Cynthia Kurowski 988-7004

Receptionist Monique Shanks 988-7360

12 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN April 9, 2021

Colts lend

their support

‘Kicking the Stigma’ is a

cause the Irsays back

By Zion Brown

sports editor

During the Super Bowl, the Indianapolis

Colts ran a 60-second

national Public Service Announcement

for “Kicking the Stigma,” an

initiative dedicated to reducing

and eliminating the stigma around

mental illness.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay and 3x

All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard

voiced the commercial.

Steve Campbell is the Vice President

of Communications for the

Colts. He described how important

this cause was for the Irsay family,

saying, “They wanted to make this

one of the signature community

pillars of the organization.”

In the PSA, Irsay said, “We need

to find ways to get people to feel

safe and not to feel judged or persecuted

when they’re trying to seek

help and get better from an illness.”

Campbell also believes that having

Leonard, one of the team’s premiere

players, in the PSA was effective.

“When you think of professional

athletes, you think of the biggest,

strongest, fastest, most talented

people in the world,” Campbell

said. “It’s eye-opening to a lot of

people that people are at the top

of their physical conditioning but

they might have an emotional challenge

or a mental health challenge

that they are also facing.”

Darius Leonard’s main message

in the PSA was “It’s okay to not be


The initiative publicly began

in December, when Irsay and his

daughter Kalen Jackson chose

“Kicking the Stigma” to be their

cause for the NFL’s annual My Cause

My Cleats campaign. The shoes designed

for that campaign are colored

green, which represents mental

health awareness, and blue, to

match the Colts’ color scheme.

The Colts are planning a virtual

fundraising event in May, which is

officially Mental Health Awareness

Month. More mental health statistics,

information and donation

links can be found at colts.com/


Campbell says that the franchise

has had “an outpouring of messages

and support and inquiry” from people

around the city that want to get

involved in the initiative.

“It’s one of the most major issues

in America today and [the Irsays]

want to be a part of the solution,”

Campbell said.

Listen to

the music

By Denise Gimlich

opinions editor

Music is a fundamental attribute

of the human species.

Virtually all cultures, from the

most primitive to the most advanced,

make music. It’s been

true through history, and it’s true

throughout an individual’s lifespan.

In tune or not, we humans sing

and hum; in time or not, we clap

and sway; in step or not, we dance

and bounce.

Researchers from the MARCS

Institute for Brain, Behaviour and

Development have found that music

increases memory and retention

as well as maximises learning

capabilities. Our brains trigger

particular emotions, memories

and thoughts, which often leads to

more positive effects toward mental


In every era of human history

and in every society around the

globe, music has allowed people

to express their feelings and communicate

with others. More than

simply expressing emotions, music

can alter them.

As British dramatist William

Congreve put it in 1697, “Music has

charms to soothe a savage breast.”

Music truly can get us through

some tough times. Listening to music

can be entertaining, and some

research suggests that it might

even make you healthier.

Music can be a source of pleasure

and contentment, but there are

many other psychological benefits

as well. Music can relax the mind,

energize the body and even help

people better manage pain.

The notion that music can influence

your thoughts, feelings, and

Songs have the ability to

heal, motivate, move

“Music has healing power. It has the ability

to take people out of themselves for a few


- rock star Elton John in 1978

behaviors probably does not come

as much of a surprise. If you’ve ever

felt pumped up while listening to

your favorite fast-paced rock anthem

or been moved to tears by a

tender live performance, then you

easily understand the power of

music to impact moods and even

inspire action.

The psychological effects of music

can be powerful and wide-ranging.

Music therapy is an intervention

sometimes used to promote

emotional health, help patients

cope with stress and boost psychological


Some research even suggests that

your taste in music can provide insight

into different aspects of your

personality. Research suggests that

background music, or music that is

played while the listener is primarily

focused on another activity, can

improve performance on cognitive

tasks in older adults.

One study found that playing

more upbeat music led to improvements

in processing speed, while

both upbeat and downbeat music

led to benefits in memory. So

the next time you are working on

a task, consider turning on a little

music in the background if you are

looking for a boost in your mental

performance. Consider choosing

instrumental tracks rather than

those with complex lyrics, which

might end up being more distracting.

Stress relief

It has long been suggested that

music can help reduce or manage

stress. Consider the trend centered

on meditative music created

to soothe the mind and inducing

relaxation. Fortunately, this is one

trend supported by research. Listening

to music can be an effective

way to cope with stress.

Improve memory

Lots of students enjoy listening

to music while they study, but is

that such a great idea? Some feel

like listening to their favorite music

as they study improves memory,

while others contend that it simply

serves as a pleasant distraction.

Research suggests that it may

help. It depends upon a variety of

factors, including the type of music,

the listener’s enjoyment of that music,

and even how musically welltrained

the listener may be.

In one study, musically naive

students learned better when listening

to positive music, possibly

because these songs elicited more

positive emotions without interfering

with memory formation.

However, musically trained students

tended to perform better on

learning tests when they listened

to neutral music, possibly because

this type of music was less distracting

and easier to ignore.

If you tend to find yourself distracted

by music, you may be better

off learning in silence or with

neutral tracks playing in the background.

Sleep better

Insomnia is a serious problem

that affects people of all age groups.

While there are many approaches

to treating this problem, research

has demonstrated that listening to

relaxing classical music can be a

safe, effective, and affordable remedy.​

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