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A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

May 2021 
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What's Up with Wellness 
What comes to mind when you hear the word Wellness? Perhaps physical activity and nutrition are two words that immediately pop into your head. While these words certainly fall under the wellness umbrella, it is also important to remember that wellness is for both the body and the mind. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this newsletter includes mental health first aid trainings for both youth and adults. Trainings are free and are open  teachers, caregivers, school staff, and members of the community. Don't let your mind miss out! 
 
Massachusetts School Wellness Coaching Program
After a year of changes to both the home and school environment, it is important to have policies and systems in place that promote health and wellness for Massachusetts students, schools and communities.

The Massachusetts School Wellness Coaching Program pairs districts with a School Wellness Coach who will help schools/districts:

  • Assess and update the Local Wellness Policy to meet both state and federal requirements
  • Create and implement wellness initiatives
  • Set goals and complete action items
  • Share success stories

All program applications are due by June 1, 2020.                                          Please note that only districts with an active wellness committee and a local wellness policy available to the public will be considered for the program

For SY21/22, the entire program will be held virtually via Zoom until in-person meetings resume. All questions regarding the program can be directed to Nicole Good, School Wellness Specialist: Nicole.Good@mass.gov.
 

Mental Health First Aid Trainings 
Adult Mental Health First Aid
The Department of Public Health is working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education along with Lighthouse Wellness and Health Education Consulting to offer free Adult Mental Health First Aid (AMHFA) trainings. The AMHFA trainings helps individuals to recognize and support adults who may be experiencing mental health or substance use challenges and/or may be in crisis, and if needed, to refer them to mental health services. Individuals can sign up for any of the open trainings or a group/organization can request to host a training

Youth Mental Health First Aid
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Department of Public Health, continues to work with Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs and Lighthouse Wellness and Health Education Consulting to schedule additional Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training sessions for 2021. Schools and districts may request to host a YMHFA session, and individuals may sign up for scheduled offerings. The YMHFA training helps teachers and other school staff to recognize and support students who may be experiencing mental health or substance use challenges and/or may be in crisis, and if needed, to refer them to mental health services.
Adult Mental Health First Aid
The Department of Public Health is working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education along with Lighthouse Wellness and Health Education Consulting to offer free Adult Mental Health First Aid (AMHFA) trainings. The AMHFA trainings helps individuals to recognize and support adults who may be experiencing mental health or substance use challenges and/or may be in crisis, and if needed, to refer them to mental health services. Individuals can sign up for any of the open trainings or a group/organization can request to host a training

Youth Mental Health First Aid
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Department of Public Health, continues to work with Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs and Lighthouse Wellness and Health Education Consulting to schedule additional Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training sessions for 2021. Schools and districts may request to host a YMHFA session, and individuals may sign up for scheduled offerings. The YMHFA training helps teachers and other school staff to recognize and support students who may be experiencing mental health or substance use challenges and/or may be in crisis, and if needed, to refer them to mental health services.
 
Help Students Move for the Body and the Brain
After a year of "zoom" school, give your students a brain and body boost! Children spend the majority of their day in school, and for some, school is the only place where they are physically active. Movement breaks are short, fun and require very little space. Students can stretch and do simple body weight exercises right at their desks, and the extra movement helps to increase blood flow to the brain - a win win! For resources on how to implement movement breaks into the classroom, check out resources from Action for Healthy Kids.

This institution is an equal opportunity employer.

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