Before welcoming students back to campus this year, Chatham Charter staff attended an all day Youth Mental Health First Aid training course. The course focused methods of assisting a young person who may be in the early stages of developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.
Through this training, staff learned the steps to the acronym ALGEE:
- Assess for risk of self harm or suicide
- Listen non judgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self help and other support strategies.
Staff and students have continued to focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the classroom through utilization of relaxation techniques, guided imagery, and peer connectedness strategies. Classroom lesson series are currently underway in 8th grade and recently rolled out to fourth and fifth grades to focus on increasing empathy and improving peer connections. The theme this year is teaching students to be kind to themselves through self care and being kind to others with both words and actions. Most recently, the 8th grade began a seminar using the Sandy Hook Promise: Start with Hello lessons which teaches how to recognize social isolation and how to give peer support.
Chatham Charter staff continues to focus on these themes as well by learning the importance of their own self care and how to increase positive relationships with, and among, students. Tips and lessons are shared at monthly faculty meetings to focus on SEL to encourage staff to continue to identify the importance of self-awareness of their own emotions so that they may be in the best emotional state for the benefit of students.
For more information and community resources, please visit the Student Support Services page on our website.