The U.S. Department of Education created a resource to assist in, “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health Needs.” This resource highlights the many challenges schools are faced with as a result of the pandemic and provides school-based mental health programs, along with appropriate recommendations to address these challenges. The recommendations within this resource include the following:
- Prioritize wellness for each and every child, student, educator, and provider.
- Enhance mental health literacy and reduce stigma and other barriers to access.
- Implement a continuum of evidence-based prevention practices.
- Establish an integrated framework of educational, social, emotional, and behavioral health support for all.
- Leverage policy and funding.
- Enhance workforce capacity.
- Use data for decision making to promote equitable implementation and outcomes.
Through partnering with Thrive during the 2021-2022 school year, you were able to adequately train program participants to meet the increased student and staff needs encountered outside of a traditional school setting. One of the Action Steps for Educators is to “Provide ongoing coaching. Implement coaching models to further strengthen teachers’ mental health knowledge and capacity (Cappella et al., 2012).” The Verona School District proactively addressed this action at the beginning of the school year through implementation of the Coaching & Certification program and certifying their staff as School Mental Wellness Specialists.
As we conclude the third year of school that is atypical, we are seeing the repercussions of the ongoing disruptions on the mental health and well-being of our students, staff and school communities. The significant uptick in maladaptive behaviors from grades pre-K to twelve, school absences, staff absenteeism and staff shortages are some of the most obvious results of the ongoing pandemic. We are seeing examples of how this is impacting each of us in our daily lives, like arguments in the grocery store, road rage and, of course, planes being detoured due to unruly passengers. The attention school districts are giving to the mental health of their communities will greatly assist in developing the coping skills necessary to recover a sense of normalcy. While the rest of the world seems anything but secure, schools remain a constant in most families' lives. It’s a great burden and responsibility and Thrive will continue to support your efforts.
The 2021-2022 school year marks the first year of Thrive’s Coaching & Certification Program at the Verona School District. Thrive provided year-long, ongoing training, coaching, support and learning to school personnel within the district. The overall purpose of this report is to provide the Verona School District with data and information about the program, its impact and participant success.
Overall, the program has trained and certified a total of 14 Verona school personnel during the 2021-2022 school year.
- Mental Health Intervention in the School Setting
- Record Keeping, Recording and Data Collection
- Risk Assessment and Suicide Screenings: Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)
- Crisis Intervention
- Understanding Trauma-Informed Care
- Intervention for Self-Harm and Self-Injury
- Intervention for School Refusal
- Understanding Integration of Mental Health Goals into the IEP
- Introduction to Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
- Understanding and Responding to Behavioral Issues
- Working through Teacher (Adult) Student Conflict
- Group and Family Techniques
Topics covered in the coaching sessions:
- School Refusal Behaviors and Interventions on a case by case basis
- Debriefed Michigan shooting and creation of ‘Red Flags’ documentation
- Identify intervention tools and strategies to help with regulations and identify feelings
- Discussion of 4 R’s and identifying students in each stage and how to intervene
- Created basic mental health indicator screening
- Identifying risk and protective factors and assessing the level of risk
- Discussion of how to give Teachers SEL practices and tools