02/24/2022 Programming For Students

When I met the current Dir. of our SameHere Schools programs -he was working for Nassau County & schools would call his office, to have him come to their properties & present on various topics related to social/emotional health.

The topics ran from – “current drug trends” when there was a high rate of drug use &/or overdose, to “suicide prevention” when there was a loss in the community.

There wasn’t much structure – by his own admission – he’d go where the schools felt there was a need…& he’d react accordingly – by building a helpful presentation for them. He’s a trained social worker.

Fast fwd to him coming to work w us at schools all over NY, & in states arnd the country, schools began in the same pattern – still asking for programming in the same way: one-offs, tied to an event(s) that happened in the community, or an uptick in a stats they were concerned about.

On top of the one-offs, the instinct for the schools, was to ask for programming for their students- either first, or even exclusively.

There are/were a number of issues w the above strategy: 1) if you don’t lay the grndwork for a plan of culture change, for multiple sessions, for working w all stakeholders, & by introducing linearity to how you’d help them build out their internal processes, then everything seems like a one-off & a “check the box” session.

2) If you start w laying that cultural & educational foundation w the students first…they start to absorb the bigger pic, they see MH as a “5in5” topic living across a continuum, instead of as a binary one.

That’s a good thing, right? Except that when the teachers & parents aren’t trained in the same, the students go back to class, or go home, looking to open up, to have convos abt life experiences, traumas, regulation drills, & they’re met w a brick wall.

This not only leads to the kids being confused, but to them LESS likely to ask for help & discussions than before you even did the training w them.

Proud of Fredonia yesterday – led by a woman who was an HR professional previously (slide➡️) starting yesterday w ALL the teachers/professionals, to lay the foundation. Students next in March!

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