Students merge minds

Chantelle Deacon

About 50 students came together for an Okanagan Region B.C. Student Voice Forum in Vernon Tuesday.

Students from grades eight to 12 enjoyed their day listening to guest speakers talk about life lessons, happiness and mental health.

"It's an annual event that we have here," said Lynn Seed, vice principal of WL Seaton Secondary School. "We have students from all over the Vernon school district, all of our five high schools."

"This year we are really excited because we have students from PVSS in Armstong and Rutland Senior Secondary and Kelowna Senior Secondary."

Guest speakers included Judge Richard Hewson, UBC professor Dr. Mark Holder and Charlie Law and Mya Verkirk from Child Youth and Mental Health.

"We get together and discuss issues that are prevalent in society," Seed said. "My group of champions (students) that are on the committee, we decide what we think would be good and get presenters to come in. "It gives them an opportunity just to talk and have opinions and be informed of events."

Seed says during her 25 years of teaching, she has seen mental illness and anxiety in schools dramatically increase.

"The world is a tough place, there is a lot happening and I think that their opinion counts," Seed said. "I think they need to know that they can speak to issues, they can have a say, they can make changes when necessary if they go about it with the correct ways."

Vernon's School District 22 hosted the event at the Schubert Centre.

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