Mental Health Awareness Month – LCPS Roundup

 

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) continues to lead the charge in providing mental health resources to all students. In recognition of “Mental Health Awareness Month” in May, here are some of the ways our students and staff are working to provide dedicated opportunities to promote student wellness and safety across the division.

Proclamation

On Tuesday, April 26, the Loudoun County School Board approved a proclamation recognizing May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month. In partnership with National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), LCPS will amplify the message of “Together for Mental Health” and join in advocating for mental health and access to care. A link to the full proclamation can be found here


TFMH

Department of Student Services

The Office of Student Services supports the LCPS mission of empowering ALL students to make meaningful contributions to the world by providing a full range of services and resources for all students, including school counseling services, outreach services, substance use prevention services,  school social work services, restorative practices, attendance monitoring, student registration, homebound instruction, residency determination, McKinney-Vento services, special permission and home instruction, and school-based student health services.

Unified Mental Health Teams

LCPS offers comprehensive mental health services and support provided by our Unified Mental Health Teams (counselors, psychologists, social workers, and student assistance specialists) who can assist and direct you to the right level of services and connect you to needed resources. Embedded in each school, these teams work together with families and school staff to provide resources and support to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.

Student Programs Supporting Mental Health and Wellness 

Sources of Strength

Sources of Strength is a student-driven, strengths-based, comprehensive wellness and prevention program implemented in most LCPS secondary schools. It promotes student mental health by helping students identify and develop protective factors that build their resiliency. The initiative provides messages of hope, help, and strength. These messages are spread through student-led campaigns designed to address the eight pillars of strength: family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spirituality, physical health, and mental health. This school year, schools have participated in over 100 campaigns including Introductions to Sources of Strength, Thankfulness/Gratitude, Generosity, and Other (which includes holiday or seasonal campaigns and school-specific campaigns). 

 

Sources of Strength

 

Wings



Positive Experiences in Educational Relationships (PEER)

PEER is a specialized class in every high school, for student leaders, that is designed to develop students’ peer mentoring skills and help teach them how to assist their peers emotionally, socially, and academically. The program takes advantage of the influence young people can have on one other to promote healthy changes in attitudes and behaviors. PEER groups focus on areas such as bullying, healthy relationships, substance use, mental health, suicide, special needs populations, violence prevention, and community outreach efforts. PEER helpers are trained by school mental health team members, have ongoing supervision, and are trained to immediately report any high risk or life-threatening information to the adult sponsors. 

 

PEER

Smile

 

So far this school year, PEER helpers have connected individually with 633 students (436 elementary and 187 secondary students). The majority of the one-on-one mentoring support provided was related to social/peer relationships, academics, stress, mental health, and anxiety. 

PEER sponsors, to date, have reported 133 school-based campaigns and classroom lessons reaching over 30,000 students at the elementary and secondary level. The following percentages reflect the campaign topics:

30%  Mental health, suicide prevention, and substance use prevention

20%  Healthy relationships, dating violence, and teen trafficking

20%  Mentoring, community building, and connecting with new students

15%  Academics and academic stress 

15%  Bullying prevention 


Lightridge PEER

 

LCPS Influencer Series

This year, the LCPS Communications and Community Engagement Office released a video series designed to help students become aware of mental health resources in the schools. The “LCPS Influencer Series” features a variety of high-profile LCPS alumni who spoke with students about their career journeys and challenges along the way. The alumni reminded students of the resources available to them in school and the importance of a strong support system. Each video also included advice on how to achieve goals, excel in school, and positively support fellow students. All videos can be found here.

LCPS recognizes that children’s mental health is directly linked to their learning and development. The school environment provides an optimal context to promote positive mental and behavioral health for our students.  School counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and student assistance specialists are specifically trained to provide a continuum of prevention and intervention support and services to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students and to remove barriers to learning in the school environment.

Please visit our Mental Health Services page for more information and other resources.




Published May 19, 2022