FBHS: “You Matter”


A'yanna Brown, Staff Writer

TW: Discusses sensitive topics regarding mental health.

Students who attend Flour Bluff High School have, at the very least, heard of the phrase “You Matter” at least once! These two words are everywhere throughout the high school, from the shirts the teachers wear to the very entrance to the school, but what does the phrase “You Matter” really mean?

 “It comes from the fact that sometimes as individuals we feel as if were not significant and that we don’t really matter, but the phrase “You Matter” reminds people that it is important to feel like ‘Hey, we all know that we do have a purpose here on Earth and just, you know, finding your purpose,” said Flour Bluff guidance counselor Alyssa Cano.

“It’s showing that everybody has a purpose and everybody has a different path, so we all begin to realize that we are more similar than different,” said FBHS teacher Jonathan Gain.

However, according to Flour Bluff principal Linda Medley “The story behind ‘You Matter’ really came from COVID. When we came back from COVID, we saw that there was a huge increase in anxiety, depression, and a lot of self-harm, unfortunately. When we were talking to kids between the counselors and teachers, all of the different staff that we have here, we could see that our kids just really needed to hear ‘You Matter’.”

On Sept. 23, Flour Bluff High School held its first-ever mental health assembly called “You Matter” to show students the resources that were out there to help combat mental health problems. They presented a wide range of speakers from Todd Hunter to LeAnn Crump. In addition to those speakers, Flour Bluff’s own students also spoke on topics surrounding mental health. 

“The assembly was really thoughtful. It was nice that they had people come and talk to us. Although, I wish that there were more speakers. It would be nice if the people they called out got a chance to speak up. It was nice to see people there who you wouldn’t expect to care about this at all just to show how much mental health impacts all students,” said sophomore Emily Eldridge.

However, not all students had the same response; in fact, one student who wished to remain anonymous said the assembly was “not very effective at all”  and “I think LeAnn Crump did a good job explaining her story, but everyone else kinda just seemed like they were forced to be there. I would make it more serious and relate it more to the students. In a way, it sounded so scripted. We are high school students. It should be more effective and serious because we really do have problems.” 

While the students’ opinions may differ on whether or not the assembly was effective in conveying its message to the students, it is clear that the school is taking a step in the right direction by addressing and acknowledging the issues that, sadly, many students suffer through. 

However, this assembly was just the first step of many in the goal of tackling the issue of mental health. What “You Matter” will do in the future is still undecided.

“This could become a statewide or hopefully even nationwide thing in the future, so everybody feels that sense of community and has that sense of belonging, which is what everyone wants to feel,” said Cano.

FBHS teacher and Student Mental Health Awareness Club Sponsor Tracey Ritchie hopes “(The ‘You Matter’ Movement)’s going to continue” and says “The student mental health awareness group is really trying to do a lot of things to encourage the whole idea of ‘You Matter’ so I’m hoping that the student body will begin to feel like they matter.”

Medley wanted her students to know that “It’s ok to feel certain ways, but you matter, you’re here for a purpose; we need you here. That was the big push to really uplift and build our students and remind everybody, even if they don’t feel it, that they matter.”