Rams Encourage Students to Develop a Positive Mindset in Second Virtual Mental Health Session

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The Los Angeles Rams and United Way of Greater Los Angeles have partnered with EVERFI’s Character Playbook to host the second mental wellness session for over 500 LA area students (Grades 6-9).

This month’s virtual mental wellness session featured a panel discussion with Rams legend Chris Thomas and cheerleader Jennifer P.

The Rams hosted the first “Basics of Mental Wellness” virtual session last month. Each session covered topics on mental wellness designed to help students learn about the complexities of mental health and healthy coping skills.

“In October, we got together and discussed ways to develop a healthy mindset. This included writing down a few things you are grateful for and reminding yourself of them daily,” explained the moderator and community affairs representative. from Rams, Karissa Davis. “It is sometimes difficult to accept the truths and overcome mountains in front of you when you believe that you are the only one facing the current situation. However, today I want you to know that you are no longer. alone Reality is mental wellness is something we all need to take care of throughout our lives We hope to show you what you can do today to prepare for whatever life throws at you. ”

Last week’s session focused on healthy habits and developing a mental wellness plan. The interactive webinar allowed students to participate in surveys that encouraged them to think about their own mental health. The students also submitted questions to the panelists for discussion throughout the session.

“It’s a very powerful subject,” Thomas said. “It’s on the front of everyone’s mind now. Mental health is more important than ever in people’s lives, so I’m glad we’re talking about it.”

Former wide receiver Chris Thomas spent two seasons with the Rams, winning a Super Bowl title in 2000. He shared some of the challenges he faced throughout his professional football career.

“I faced some obstacles that there wasn’t a book for that really weakened me for a while while in the NFL because I didn’t necessarily know how to get over some things that I had never lived in my life, ”explained Thomas. “I was really thrown into the fire to figure out how to let my mind work for me, not against me, and it started a four and a half year process of unlocking every compartment of the mind and the power it has. . to allow us to take ownership of the experiences we have every day of our life. “

The question-and-answer session began with a stress-focused question.

“I’ve been dealing with anxiety my whole life. It’s something I was very ashamed of and very embarrassed about,” Jennifer said. “With anxiety, it creates a lot of uncertainty and fear, so a lot of emotions will start to hit you at once. What I have learned in these times when I am stressed, I must always find the anchor in myself and in my values. I have to ask myself three questions: “Will this affect me in 24 hours?” What is the worst case scenario? What is the best of times? “When you feel a surge of emotions, you have to learn to talk to yourself through those moments.”

The group discussed how friends can impact mental well-being: “People can influence your mental well-being and the truth, more often than not is our environment, at some level, which is the trigger for feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, ”explained Thomas. “It’s the environment and often it’s the people in that environment you are in that are the trigger.”

The group also explored how empathy and social awareness can combat how others can affect mental well-being and how social media can affect personal perception. Davis shared the quote “Comparison is the thief of joy” before asking the question, “How can comparison make it difficult to maintain a positive mindset?” “

“Comparison is the thief of joy because you compare everything that everyone else has organized, when you already have an abundant life, whether or not it looks like the next person’s,” Jennifer explained. “I think gratitude is really something that can anchor someone who feels the negativity of comparison because as soon as you step back and say, ‘Wow, I have my health, I can walk, I can play sports, i have a roof over my head … “just those basics you come back to. I think these are really good steps to take, especially when going through that downward spiral. You have to walk this journey on your own, you have to go through the good times and the bad times, you have to make your mistakes because the biggest lessons are from your mistakes. So, once again, ground yourself in gratitude… I promise that this helps. “

Thomas added: “I encourage you to stop looking for someone else or something to validate yourself and tell you what your life should be like. You are the author of your own book. Write your own. book, don’t let anyone else do this for you. ”

Vulnerability was the closing topic of discussion. Thomas said: “The biggest challenge of being vulnerable is creating this safe space for people to know it’s okay to share what they think and care about.”

Rams will continue to host monthly virtual sessions for LA area students through January 2022 in partnership with EVERFI, an interactive digital learning solution that empowers organizations to deliver health and life education. well-being to communities, wherever they are. As part of the league-wide initiative, the NFL is sponsoring five schools and over 800 LA area students to gain access to EVERFI’s mental wellness program. League-sponsored schools include Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High, Newbury Park High School, El Camino Real Charter High School, Bell Senior High, and Kern Union High School.

To learn more about Rams’ community programs, please visit www.therams.com/community.


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