Seventh-Graders Get Their Head in the Game

On Nov. 8, seventh-grade students at Carle Place Middle School were given an opportunity to transform the way they think about mental illness with the help of guest speaker Hakeem Rahim, Ed.M, M.A. and his interactive presentation “Let’s Talk Mental Illness.” Rahim, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during his time as an undergraduate student at Harvard University, is a graduate of Columbia University and owner of a consultative company, Live Breathe LLC.

“Being diagnosed with a mental illness means living a life that has been interrupted, not a life that has ended,” said Rahim, who shared with students his personal story of mental illness, recovery and wellness. He defined mental illness and discussed its prevalence and the importance of seeking help and treatment. The presentation also provided students with key statistics and indicators of mental illness, fostered positive conversation and offered insight on how to continue discussion.

Rahim’s inspirational story of success resounded with the driving theme of resilience and encouraged students to raise awareness to help decrease the stigma that surrounds mental illness.