Today, South Orangetown Central School District social workers and health teachers are engaged in professional development covering K-12 implementation of new New York State Mental Health Literacy in Education framework guidance.
The session, led by clinical psychologist Dr. Hayley Watson, builds on curriculum work teachers began this summer and focuses on best practices for teaching this sensitive subject from kindergarten through Grade 12. Children and youth who are educated about mental health are more likely to recognize signs and symptoms in themselves and others and know how to get help.
“It’s about reducing the stigma of talking about mental health and really embedding mental health well-being in a comprehensive way to support positive school culture district-wide,” says Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Karen Tesik. “Everything we do is about supporting kids.”