Different audience than usual today. Instead of students, employees or first responders, had the fortune to present to 500+ school professionals: Psycholgist, Social Workers, Counselors, Therapists, from all over Long Island.
This event was put on by a partnership between Nassau Boces, Easter Suffolk Boces & Suffolk Boces, involving professionals from over 125 schools from around Long Island.
Got a chance to do the main opening session & then a follow up breakout session on STARR practices. ”Brad The Tapper,” you’d be proud of me for representing your craft…& Theo Fleury, we spoke all about the need for STARR practice rooms: “Gym For The Brain” in schools.
The biggest takeaway however, was how we discussed “tools” being brought into schools. It could be more counselors/professionals, it could be curriculum, it could be STARR rooms…but the issue is, these tools don’t get used, or are passed judgement on by students, unless schools have a culture-changing bridge that comes in, & transforms for the whole school community’s understanding of what mental HEALTH means.
Until we get students, teachers, administration & parents, all on the same pages that – mental health is something diff than mental illness…& that MH lives on a continuum that we are ALL on, these tools only go so far. In fact, the tools could actually be stigmatized themselves – based on who they believe “should use them.”
Overall great progress. Great discussions. Great questions. And…so looking forward to working w the senior officers at BOCES & specifically at schools throughout LI, to bring #SameHere Schools programming to them.