Aevidum Raises Awareness in Banana Costumes

February 14, 2022

Senior Atticus Silbaugh and another student wear their banana costumes. Photograph by Matthew Shervington

A few weeks ago, students would walk into their classroom on Monday as usual. However, there was something that wasn’t quite right- multiple students were wearing banana costumes.

For the duration of a week, students, who were asked by Aevidum adviser and school counselor Matthew Shervington, participated in an experience by wearing banana costumes throughout the day.

Students participating were asked a combined total of 756 times, according to junior member Aneesha Kandala,  why they were wearing the costume.

Kandala was asked many times herself.

“When I wore my costume, I was asked roughly 43 times why I was dressed up as a banana,” Kandala said.

Sophomore Mackenzie Dryden wears a banana costume to her AP U.S. History course. Photograph by Matthew Shervington

Each time they were asked about wearing the costume, they always responded by saying that they could not answer the question.

It was revealed to the student body that the message of costume movement was to spread awareness on mental health.

This campaign was done to help students realize that their fellow students’ mental health may not be as prominent as a big banana costume.

Kandala said, “The point of wearing a banana costume is to draw attention to this idea and demonstrate how illnesses like depression may not always be noticeable, but, are still significant regardless.”

Freshman Vicky Chen wears her banana costume to advocate for mental health at lunch. Photograph taken by Matthew Shervington

Shervington helped to organize the social experiment, relating to mental health.

“It’s just as easy to ask someone how they’re doing as it is to ask why they’re wearing a banana costume; in fact, it may be easier!” Shervington said.

This idea was created by students from an Aevidum program in Cocalico to express that depression may not always stick out like a banana costume.

Some students, like junior Emily Goodfellow, knew that the people wearing costumes wouldn’t answer their questions, so in turn, they didn’t ask at all.

Goodfellow said, “I had heard that they couldn’t answer why they were wearing it, so I didn’t ask expecting rejection.”

Many students think this helped to open their eyes when it comes to mental illness and effectively spread awareness for different illnesses such as depression.

Shervington encourages students and staff to check in on their peers about their mental health as much as they were asking about the banana costume to promote a better school environment.

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