The Lounge- An Interview With Ms. Sivaprakash!


The Lounge is an emotional and mental health awareness club. The New Dealer was honored to sit down with the club’s advisor Ms. Sivaprakash and interview her about the club. The Lounge works with the nonprofit organization Bring Change 2 Mind. The club works with students to help them raise their awareness about mental health, how to manage their stress, and find activities that help them deal with their stress in a positive manner. Also, students learn how to speak to others about how to deal with stress and to de-stigmatize the taboo against mental illness.

Were you the one to establish the club?

Two students came to me, Ms. Born, and Ms. Yora in 2019. They were the ones who wanted to start at the club. They really wanted to raise awareness about mental health and how to deal with stress, so they brought the idea to our attention. They were really the ones that promoted and worked hard to establish the club.

What encouraged you to advise The Lounge?

I think The Lounge is important because it’s needed at this point in time, especially after the pandemic. A lot of students have anxiety, so mental health awareness is really important at this moment in time to help students manage their personal lives and also help their friends, family members, and whoever they care about.

What are examples of the activities that you and the members of The Lounge typically do?

We have done a gratitude tree to share what we are thankful for. We have written positive affirmation letters, so that way in times of negativity, students can open up the letters when they need to be uplifted. We have done a positivity chain and self care boxes, where students created boxes of comfort for themselves. So, any activities like that, some that are art-based, crafts, or self reflective. We have also used a talk tool on the Bring Change 2 Mind portal to help lead discussions about some mental health taboos that exist and how we can work around that.

How has The Lounge changed your outlook on life?

I started to see the positives about some of these activities. Like taking a moment, even just five minutes to myself, to self-reflect, destress, and empty my mind. Meditation has been something that I have brought into my personal life because of The Lounge.

Are there any changes you plan to implement within the club? 

I think we want to make sure that there are some activities that we open up to the school in general. I think it’s important to reach out to the community and help raise mental health awareness, not just within the club but to the students and faculty members in FDR.

What are the benefits that come with being a member of The Lounge?

You are part of a nice group of individuals, whether it’s the advisers or members of the club, and you get to learn more about people. You are able to share ideas about activities that could be beneficial to mental health. And also, because we’re partners with Bring Change 2 Mind, we have a free one year membership with Headspace, an application that students are able to use at home. There are definitely benefits that come with being a member of The Lounge.

What is your favorite part about the Lounge?

I think it’s nice to have a place to destress, think about positive things, and learn how to be more positive in life versus being negative. I think before The Lounge I was very pessimistic, but I have found ways to be more optimistic.

How might the Lounge have a positive impact on the students here at FDR?

I think a lot of students really don’t know how to manage stress, or when they feel stressed they tend to beat themselves up for it. Being a part of The Lounge, or The Lounge having some type of impact, can help students learn strategies of how to manage the negative emotions that they’re facing in a more healthy and positive manner- versus lashing out. Students can learn how to really address the issues that they are dealing with.

Are there any key events that the Lounge or Bring Change 2 Mind hosts?

Aside from our meetings right now, we don’t have any events planned as of yet. However, we’re hoping to plan something. Bring Change 2 Mind already hosted an opportunity for the public to join in on a day-long session, where they had public speakers, presenters, and activities. Bring Change 2 Mind allows our members to join things like that which we are very grateful for.

Do you have a message for anyone interested in joining The Lounge?

Yes! Please meet us in room 413 every two weeks on Mondays during 9th period. If you’re interested in learning how to deal with your stress and raise awareness about mental health, please come by. We work with a great organization, and we would love to share those wonderful resources with everyone who is interested.