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Article: COVID-19 Highlights Need for Warriors BEwell Program, Mental Health Programming in Schools

COVID-19 Highlights Need for Warriors BEwell Program, Mental Health Programming in Schools

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In the spring of 2020 Mariemont City Schools launched Warriors BEwell, a comprehensive program to ensure well-researched and robust mental health programming and services for our students and families. This program was born in an effort to make the mental health of our students an even greater point of emphasis in our schools.
 
Warriors BEwell was designed as a way for the district to share with our parents and students about prevention and advocacy programs, research behind the services offered and partnerships with other organizations that help support our efforts. Furthermore, Warriors BEwell is a tool that our counselors and psychology staff use to review practices and partnerships, stay on top of the latest research and continue to improve in order to support the mental and physical health needs of our students.
 
At the time of its inception, the Warriors BEwell program was an important tool to have in our schools – but little did we know that, mere weeks after its launch, its importance would increase exponentially.
 
With the COVID-19 pandemic came an onslaught of disruptors for our students, including uncertainty and social isolation. We all recognize the importance of predictability and routine for children and adolescents, and very suddenly, last spring those routines were turned upside down. In what was (and still is) a very stressful and chaotic time for the entire world, it became imperative to check in on the health and wellbeing of our youth.
 
While I have always been proud of our district’s efforts and programming regarding student mental health, I am especially excited to have it in place at this time when our students may need it the most.
 
All of our Warriors BEwell programming is up and running this school year, including our Sources of Strength peer-to-peer suicide prevention and resiliency training and our Signs of Suicide screening.
 
At the request of our high school staff, we even moved the Signs of Suicide screening for senior students to the fall to get ahead of any necessary therapy referrals that may result from the pandemic uncertainties.
 
Additionally, all buildings participate in regular mindfulness sessions to provide a chance to calm the minds and bodies of our students and offer a chance to relax throughout this stressful time.
 
As a superintendent, I am very pleased with the amount of programming our district offers to look after the mental health of our students. And as a parent, I am comforted daily knowing my children’s mental and physical wellbeing are at the forefront of their educational experience. I know the measures that our counselors, therapists, teachers and staff are taking to protect all of our children and educate them on mental health issues.
 
And that is needed now more than ever.

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