Take HEART Awareness Week: Celebrate and Share With Us!

May 6, 2024

By Martha Staeheli, PhD, Director, School Mental Health Initiative, New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

Schools can be the foundation of compassion, community resilience, and encouragement. They are often safe havens, sanctuaries, and sometimes temporary shelters. For some children, schools are the windows of the world. In order to aid children in their growth as leaders and inclusive members of society, we must provide a safe space to nurture mental health and overcome traumatic experiences and learning challenges. We must also support healing, resilience, and recovery for those at the front of the class, i.e., educators and other school staff who are suffering from burnout and fatigue.

The HEART Collective is particularly concerned about the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of community violence, and social and economic factors that are inherently related to social inequality on the mental health of youth and their families. Our work also prioritizes the need to tackle the opioid crisis— one of the largest and most complex public health tragedies that our nation has ever faced. And the toll of addiction, in lost lives and broken families, touches every community in America.

Collaborations with healthcare centers as well as community-based organizations, mental and behavioral health agencies, and other youth-serving institutions can help schools deliver enhanced wraparound services that support the mental health and well-being of everyone in the school community.

The Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective was convened to enhance collaborations between community health centers and schools to support positive mental health and well-being for youth in school-based settings. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to help youth-serving systems collaborate in ways that support students, families, and staff, with increased awareness, feedback from stakeholders, and buy-in from your school community, you can implement signature programming that promotes wellness.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are excited to introduce you to the Healthcare workers and Educators Addressing and Reducing Trauma (HEART) Collective's #TakeHEART Campaign.

The New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center's School Mental Health Initiative launched HEART Awareness Week to highlight the importance of advocating for and supporting collaborations that improve the mental health, well-being, and resilience of everyone in the school building.

Learn more!

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