Inside California Education Episode 401: Focusing on Mental Health — Online Suicide Prevention Efforts
Students and educators talk openly about the importance of mental health, including students in a high school class taught by Andres Perez at High Tech High in Chula Vista. They share their creative projects and reflections from a unit he developed to help surface and address their mental health and social-emotional challenges.
Helping to support the mental health needs of students
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages ten to 24. The California Department of Education, in collaboration with the San Diego County Office of Education, has launched a free, evidence-based online suicide prevention training program called LivingWorks Start to help support the mental health needs of students. It’s available to middle and high school staff and students throughout the state.
Heather Nemour, Program Specialist for Student Wellness & Positive School Climate for the San Diego County Office of Education, shares important insights. “We always say, we haven’t done our job until people can talk about mental health, and it’s just as socially acceptable as it is talking about physical health.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupted the academic lives of our students and families, but it may have contributed to emotional and mental health challenges that some of our students struggle with,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in announcing the suicide prevention training program. “It is important that students know that they have someone to turn to within their school community when they are feeling overwhelmed. Providing this specialized training to school staff and peers can not only be utilized to support students in crisis during the critical time we are in now, but any time a student is feeling despondent, stressful, and alone.” Air date: 04/07/2021
- San Diego County Office of Education’s Student Support Services — LivingWorks Start
- Mental Health First Aid for Adults
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