The Unified Mental Health Team (UMHT) is comprised of the school psychologist, school social worker, student assistance specialist, school counselors, school nurse, and administrators. The mission of the UMHT is to promote school-wide mental health initiatives within a multi-tiered system of support. The team is responsible for providing a continuum of prevention and intervention supports and services to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students and to remove barriers to learning in the school environment.
Sources of Strength
Sources of Strength is an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change student norms and culture and build resiliency among students. The mission of Sources of Strength is to prevent suicide by increasing help seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. Sources of Strength moves beyond a singular focus on risk factors by utilizing an upstream approach for youth suicide prevention. This upstream model strengthens student awareness of protective factors in their lives and helps them connect to these supports when faced with challenges.
Sources of Strength utilizes trained peer leaders and adult advisors in our school. Our Peer Leaders are a diverse group of students who leverage their personal and collective leadership qualities as well as their social influence in leading the charge in norming and culture change campaigns. These campaigns use strength-based messages to impact multiple issues including suicide. Our Adult Advisors are a group of connected, caring, and positive adults in our school community who’s goal is to support, mentor, and assist peer leaders in spreading hope, help, and strength-based messages across their friendship networks.
Signs of Suicide Program
The SOS Signs of Suicide Program is presented to all 9th grade students through their health classes at Rock Ridge High School by school psychologists and school social workers. The program teaches students how to identify the signs of depression and suicide. The program also teaches the students what to do when someone else needs help. The acronym ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) is used to help students remember what to do when they encounter someone who shows signs of depression or suicide. The program uses a video to illustrate real life scenarios of students in need of help and actions to take to get help.
The program goals include:
- Decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression and mental health;
- Teach our students to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, self-injurious behavior, and potential suicidality in themselves and others;
- Educate youth that suicide is not a normal response to problems but a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression or other mental illnesses; and
- Encourage help-seeking by teaching teens to respond to the signs of suicide as a mental health emergency and to take specific action steps to help prevent a tragedy.
Substance Use Presentations
Our Student Assistance Specialist, Fiona Brown, LPC provides in-person, interactive presentations to educate students about substance use and addiction. The goal of these presentations is to highlight risk factors that increase adolescent vulnerability, educate students about the process of addiction and give clear facts about drugs of abuse. Students leave the presentation with information about how to protect themselves and how to seek help for themselves or a loved one.
Click here to watch a video from our student assisstance specialists on substance abuse during the pandemic.
August 2020 Newsletter from our Student Assistance Specialist
December 2020 Newsletter from our Student Assistance Specialist
Contact the Unified Mental Health Team via email at
Dallas Swirchak, School Psychologist Amrita Khatta, School Counselor
Judy Rosenfeld, School Social Worker Kelley Familant, School Counselor
Fiona Brown, Student Assisstance Specialist Jarrel Taylor, School Counselor
Kevin Terry, School Counseling Director Nicole Bryan, School Counselor
Jennifer Domingues, School Counselor Robyn Wisti, School Nurse
View our November 2020 Parent Presentation on supporting your student during distance learning here
Unified Mental Health Team Newsletter- Straight From the Source