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Why Mental Health Awareness Matters

As we observe National Mental Health Awareness Month in May, it is essential to reflect on the importance of mental health services, particularly in educational settings like Rocketship Public Schools. Mental health is a crucial component of overall well-being, and providing adequate support and services is paramount for students to thrive academically and emotionally.

At Rocketship, our Wellness team plays a vital role in supporting the mental health needs of our students. Day in and day out, they work tirelessly to address the tier 2 and tier 3 needs of over 800 Rocketeers each intervention cycle. Their dedication and commitment to ensuring that every student receives the support they need is truly commendable. Students are identified three times a year through a Social Emotional Behavioral (SEB) screener which identifies those students with both internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Once this happens students are placed into tier 2 or tier 3 intervention for 8-9 weeks.

One such story that highlights the impact of our Wellness team is that of a Rocketeer from last year who was struggling with frequent and violent anger outbursts, making it challenging for him to access instruction. His mother, who had experience with similar challenges with her other children, worked closely with the Wellness and ISE team to understand her role in the healing process.

Through their collaborative efforts, the team was able to develop strategies to de-escalate the student and provide him with a paraprofessional for additional support. Over time, the student underwent a remarkable transformation and is now a different student. He not only manages his emotions better but also seeks to help other students facing similar challenges, encouraging them to make better choices. Additionally, he has demonstrated the capacity to recognize his triggers, name his feelings and utilize coping strategies and is currently working to practice co-regulation skills within his wellness sessions. His case manager reports that his progress is credited to genuine efforts and the consistency he receives from having a 1:1 support staff with him.

This story underscores the crucial role that the Wellness team plays in supporting our students’ mental health. Their unwavering dedication, compassion, and innovative approaches to intervention have a profound impact on the lives of our students. They never gave up on this student, and it is this persistence and belief in our students’ potential that truly matters at the end of the day.

As we continue to raise awareness about mental health, let us recognize and appreciate the important work that our Wellness team and mental health professionals do to support the well-being of our students. Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment where every Rocketeer can thrive.

Published on April 26, 2024

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