MASSENA — With the COVID-19 risk nonetheless a actuality, the Massena Central College District has taken on a number of initiatives to deal with any psychological well being issues of the district’s college students and workers because the pandemic continues.
Among the many initiatives is the introduction of mindfulness, a sort of meditation during which an individual focuses on being intensely conscious of what they’re sensing and feeling within the second, with out interpretation or judgment.
Practising mindfulness entails respiration strategies, guided imagery, and different practices to chill out the physique and thoughts and assist scale back stress.
Superintendent Patrick Brady stated that, through the reopening course of, they designated a social/emotional subcommittee to create plans for tending to scholar and workers wellness, and the introduction of mindfulness was one of many efforts.
“This has led to counselors checking and connecting with at-risk college students and extra academics utilizing mindfulness actions within the school rooms,” he stated.
Neighborhood Colleges Director Kristin Colarusso-Martin had utilized for a grant that might permit them to accomplice with the Akwesasne Holistic Life Basis to convey mindfulness to college students. She stated that top faculty college students had been polled about their issues and what they wish to study extra about.
“They have been apprehensive about managing feelings, anger administration and anxiousness,” she stated.
Ms. Colarusso-Martin stated, whereas they didn’t get the total quantity of the grant, “I nonetheless imagine there are actually good methods to implement mindfulness. That is one thing that will probably be actually worthwhile.”
Mr. Brady stated they acquired a $25,000 grant from the American Federation of Lecturers for the mindfulness initiative. Via the partnership between the instructor’s union and the Holistic Life Basis, they’re establishing mindfulness rooms in among the faculties, the place college students and workers can go to acquire the instruments to deal with their feelings.
“The rooms will probably be staffed by educated practitioners from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory who’ve been concerned with the mindfulness initiative for a number of years. The practitioners may even push into school rooms of academics who’re concerned about having these methods taught of their school rooms,” he stated.
Mr. Brady stated the grant may even fund skilled growth for academics on “Digital Mondays” to study actions for themselves and college students to deal with their feelings. The actions embody yoga, deep respiration, meditation, and methods to construct mindfulness into classroom classes.
He stated the district can be partnering with the Workplace of Psychological Well being and St. Lawrence Psychiatric Middle this 12 months for college students to participate in teletherapy appointments on the faculty. In addition they hope to pilot an effort with two native hospitals to supply digital school-based well being facilities for psychological well being and youngster wellness examinations.
“We’re additionally increasing our in-school psychological well being counseling with the Massena Wellness Middle and Citizen Advocates. Final 12 months, their counselors started offering counseling providers at the highschool and now we now have an utility with OMH to increase to our junior excessive,” Mr. Brady stated.
As well as, a partnership with Secure Harbor and the St. Lawrence County Youth Advocate Program will give attention to attendance, truancy and educational efficiency of at-risk college students in grades 5 by eight.
“Problems with psychological well being will probably be referred to the varsity and acceptable companies,” he stated.
Mr. Brady stated they’ve additionally began month-to-month liaison conferences with the Massena Wellness Middle and Citizen Advocates “to collaborate on college students who’re scuffling with psychological well being points.”