Pumas 4 Pumas teams up with ASU organization to create mental health videos

The Pumas 4 Pumas club partnered with ASU’s Devils 4 Devils organization as a way to spread community awareness for mental health.



President, Sammy Cristerna and Vice President, Anilisse Cappucci of the Pumas 4 Pumas club have a large role in spreading community awareness for mental health.

The Pumas 4 Pumas club is a continuation of the Lunch Bunch which promotes mental health awareness and empathy for students throughout the school and the community. Treasurer, Allison Tripp explains that this club was inspired by ASU’s Devils 4 Devils organization. They have also recently partnered with ASU in a project that involves providing resources for students in the community. Tripp notes “We’ve partnered with them [ASU] because they can help us engage with our peers and provide resources for them, and empathize with them and support them.’’

The project at its core is ASU working with a few high schools in the area for feedback about mental health. They will then take the feedback the Pumas 4 Pumas club gives them and make videos about important areas of mental health that would be important to students. Club president, Sammy Cristerna explains “We put our input in and just discuss what specifically as Gen-Z what the warning signs are for us that we see and what is a good coping mechanism for us.” Cristerna explains that ASU has asked them a series of questions specifically about how this generation copes with mental illness, as it varies with different generations. 

Even though the club itself is new, this project has been well planned over an extended period of time. Perry High School was picked specifically along with three other schools in the state. Counselor, Holli Cagle is the facilitator of the club and has a significant role in the success of the project. “The ASU counseling department reached out to us at the start of last school year (2019-2020) to be the mentor for our club. They attended at least one meeting each month and provided special training to students in the club.” 

PHS students have a prominent influence on this project, but ASU is broadening the scope of the project to the community as a whole. “I think it widens the view of what ASU has the capability of doing with the project and voicing everyone’s views,” Cristerna explains. Tripp also sees the project’s far-reaching approach to be a positive impact on people who struggle with mental health. “It’s really important to recognize that a lot of people struggle with mental health and it hasn’t really been normalized until recently, a lot of people struggled by themselves… If we involve the entire community we are going to have more resources and more support for each other.” Tripp further explains the need to be supportive and encourage those who are silently struggling to be more comfortable with talking about the struggles they face. Cagle explains “Supporting someone’s mental health should be as normal as getting a cast for a broken leg,” Cagle remarks. 

Due to the sweeping amount of students who struggle with mental illness, the goal of the District Counseling Department is to “make these videos accessible to all CUSD high school students.” According to Cagle. However, the exact date that these videos will be accessible is unknown as there are a lot of factors that go into making these videos. Until the project has concluded there are many resources available for students and Pumas 4 Pumas will continue to lend a listening ear to students who are struggling.