By Taylor Bryan Turner, Assistant Regional Administrator, SAMHSA Region 1, and Martha Staeheli, PhD, Director, School Mental Health Initiative, New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
Create a prevention to early intervention treatment continuum through collaborations that offer wraparound mental health supports.
Schools can be the foundation of compassion, community resilience, and encouragement. They are often safe havens, sanctuaries, and sometimes temporary shelters. For some children, schools are the windows of the world. In order to aid children in their growth as leaders and inclusive members of society, we must provide a safe space to nurture mental health and overcome traumatic experiences and learning challenges. We must also support healing, resilience, and recovery for those at the front of the class, i.e., educators and other school staff who are suffering from burnout and fatigue.
The HEART Collective is particularly concerned about the negative impacts of the
COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of community violence, and social and
economic factors that are inherently related to social inequality on the mental health of
youth and their families. Our work also prioritizes the need to tackle the opioid crisis— one of the largest and most complex public health tragedies that our nation has ever faced. And the toll of addiction, in lost lives and broken families, touches every community in America.
Collaborations with healthcare centers as well as community-based organizations, mental and behavioral health agencies, and other youth-serving institutions can help schools deliver enhanced wraparound services that support the mental health and well-being of everyone in the school community.
The Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective was convened to enhance collaborations between community health centers and schools to support positive mental health and well-being for youth in school-based settings. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to help youth-serving systems collaborate in ways that support students, families, and staff, with increased awareness, feedback from stakeholders, and buy-in from your school community, you can implement signature programming that promotes wellness.
Be a part of our second annual celebration! In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are excited to introduce you to the Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective's #TakeHEART Campaign.
The New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center's School Mental Health Initiative launched HEART Awareness Week to highlight the importance of advocating for and supporting collaborations that improve the mental health, well-being, and resilience of everyone in the school building.
Visit the HEART website May 8-12, 2023 for public awareness activities to help you learn more about the impact of childhood trauma.
Take time today to educate yourself and others to understand the impact of childhood-trauma.
Access our Campaign Toolkit for talking points, infographics, and thank you cards to help you recognize and share the importance of school-based mental health services, and also to honor the stakeholders in your learning community who can help you to vision, plan, and monitor your efforts to build and sustain a compassionate school community.
Use #TakeHEART and #TeamworkMakestheDreamWork on social media and help us spread the word about the urgency and importance of comprehensive school-based mental health systems of care and collaborations with youth-serving entities.
Remember, schools are often community hubs and all schools can support children holistically. Take HEART! Support our work to ensure that wraparound mental health services are as easy to access in schools as pencils and highlighters.
For more information on the HEART Collective and the Take HEART Campaign, contact the New England MHTTC’s Communications and Program Strategist Ingrid Padgett.
Learn more about the conveners of the HEART Collective!