B.L.U.E. Provides a Safe Environment for Students

Keira Fenner, Staff Reporter

B.L.U.E. stands for Everyone Deserves to Belong, be Loved, be Understood and be Encouraged. Seniors Eireann Maybach, Kendon Sheppard, Katie Warren and English teacher Lyn Good run this emotional support group.

Good originally wanted to start an Alateen club, which supports those who have family or friends with an alcohol or drug addiction. However, the National Board wouldn’t approve this due to no close-by Alateen group location.

Good’s goal was to help FHS teens. When she heard about B.L.U.E., she thought, “One door’s closing and another one’s opening,” and she decided to sponsor it. It’s been an overall positive experience for her.

“It’s basically a club where students can come and feel comfortable. They can share issues, they can get help. We’re trying to build relationships,” said Good.

“[It] originally started for students who struggle with substance abuse, or other mental health issues,” said Maybach.

Some of the activities include various crafts, projects and volunteer work. The main purpose is for students to discuss and understand the issues in their life instead of going to drugs or alcohol.

Good wants students to know they have people they can rely on that aren’t going to judge them. “We want our students to understand that there are places they can go to just chill and feel comfortable without the pressure of performing. It isn’t an athletic or academic club, just with the purpose of supporting the students.”

“Its a safe space for students where there is no stigma of going to teachers or guidance counselors,” said Warren.

There are currently 15 students in the club. It is the first year and the first BLUE group in Fauquier County. It is a nationwide organization just starting to gain ground, partnered with the Mental Health Association.

“We’re losing students. We’re losing them not coming to school. We’re losing them to issues they have at home. We’re losing them to drugs and alcohol. We’re losing students and their capability for their education because of all these external forces,” said Good.

“What we want is for them to understand is that a lot of us go through those things and while we do, we want to all be there and support each other.”

One in five teens experiences clinical depression. Mrs. Harris in guidance is also assisting with this group. They received a $250 grant to help get recognition for the club. If they demonstrate how they’ve helped the students, they may be eligible to receive a $500 grant next year.

The BLUE club meets on Wednesdays from 2:45 to 3:30 in room 304.