School district seeks volunteers to help with mental health campaign

Photo courtesy WTXL

The Leon County School District is actively addressing mental health needs in children and teens.

In efforts to prepare our youth for the future the school district has called on the community to volunteer and be engaged. The district created two PSAs featuring high school students encouraging children to speak out about how they feel, and the district is asking parents to further assist.

Godby is one of the local high schools in need of more mentors. Students have signed up for the program, but the high school does not have enough volunteers to aid everyone in need of assistance.

The public service announcements demonstrate warning signs such as grades dropping, non-academic involvement or irregular sleeping patterns. The video urges kids to talk to someone because they are not alone, and someone does care. The campaign has launched, and the videos will be made available to the public through various social media platforms.

The objective is to encourage more volunteers to make a difference. Students who have mentors are thankful for the guidance. Proposed goals are increasing school readiness and investing in early education.

School faculty and staff play an important role in identifying mental health conditions and recommending the proper assistance. Mental health conditions can affect a young person’s ability to learn, grow and develop.

These programs provide mental health care and link families to resources in the community.

Mental health is important from childhood through adulthood. It includes emotional, psychological and social assessments. Health resources in Tallahassee are becoming more accessible for residents. Both the Apalachee Center and DISC Village have partnered to improve the resources available to students.

A counselor is placed at all public middle and high schools and most elementary schools. The organization has provided additional counselors for this school year, according to the district’s 2019-2020 mental health plan.

Public school students are now required to complete five hours of mental health classes. The School Board voted in July to mandate these changes.

Students will be taught how to recognize signs of mental health issues, how to react and where to find help.

Parents believe this strategy will support students who are diagnosed with a mental health illness. Educating students on how to identify and understand available solutions could possibly prevent a crisis in the future. It is best to prepare for a situation as early as possible in order to know how to respond.