Corning-Painted Post launching mental health initiative

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The Corning-Painted Post School District is trying to break the stigma on talking about mental health which is why it’s launching an initiative.

The Student Mental Health Action Team will focus on having an open dialogue on mental health needs in students because, the school says, with the rise in social media, it’s a tough time for children to grow up and stress levels are higher than ever. 

“Just like families, school systems are not always very open when it comes to addressing these kinds of things,” Superintendent Mike Ginalski said. “For us, I look at where we actually are and I always ask myself the question, ‘Can we do more?’ and I think in this case we definitely can.”

After speaking about mental health in students in the last two to three years, the district realized it’s time to do something about it. The initiative will put together a committee, trainings, and community outreach programs to let students and parents know that it’s okay to openly talk about mental health.

A master plan will be implemented with detailed goals and strategies addressing the issue, building it into the existing calendar. The school sees it being the most important thing going forward.

Later this month, Mental Health Speaker Mike Veny will kick off the first of many programs that the school has scheduled with a presentation called ‘Transforming the Stigma of Mental Health.’ It takes place on Monday, November 27 at the CPP High School Theater at 6:30 P.M. It’ll be open to the public.

The district’s goal is to get information in the hands of parents to bring them closer to the school and get the conversation going on what has been a delicate subject for decades and to provide resources for their children on where to turn. 

“We want them to go out to the workplace, college, (or the) military knowing that they have the depth to handle the ups and downs, and if they don’t, they know where to ask for help,” CPP High School Counselor Margaret Busch said. 

The second program will be in January where the school will host a training event with an expert panel focusing on the stressors affecting students, the short- and long-term consequences of stress and anxiety, and high-risk behaviors. Attendees will be given information on resources and support. The date and time has not yet been announced. 

On Tuesday, February 27, former NBA player Chris Herren who suffered with substance abuse will speak about his journey from addiction to sobriety. That will be at 7:00 P.M. in the High School Theater. 

If you’re a parent of a CPP student, expect these programs to become a regular occurrence.

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