School needs to put mental health grant to best use


Mia Simon

Editorial cartoon; School Mental Health Grant needs to be put to better use and promoted.

Red 'n' Green Staff

The School-Based Mental Health grant is awarded to the school to provide $75,000 in order for the staff to be trained to be able to recognize symptoms of students who are struggling with mental health. A portion of this money is used for the Sources of Strength Program in the high school and middle school. Some of the money is put towards different things in the High School as well. The staff from The Red ‘n’ Green think that the money should be distributed to additional programs to provide more benefits for the students. 

One way this money could be used to its full potential is by having different support groups for students to be able to come together and do different activities to keep their mind off of the stress. It would also be a good way for students to make more friends and have someone else to talk to. This would allow students to make friendships and spend time doing other activities outside of school. 

It is not very well known that the school has a licensed school psychologist, so the school could do different things to try and advocate it more. Things like signs posted up on the wall or a sign up sheet that could be accessed easier either online on the Berlin site or a sign up sheet in Student Services. Students could sign up in advance for different times that fit their schedule and could meet with the therapist. It could be during homeroom so students don’t have to miss class, or during lunch or after school. This would be a great way for students to get the help they need without having to pay for a therapist. 

The last way the money could be used is to have different people or animals come into the school. For example, a service dog could come in and go around to different classrooms spending only a few minutes in each class just for students to be able to take a small break from school and relieve stress. Another example would be for a speaker to come in and talk to the whole school. This could take place in the auditorium and could be during homeroom or during a few classes. In the past we have had mental health advocates, such as J-LINE, come in to speak about the importance of mental health. 

With these additions, The Red ‘n’ Green believes that our school could make the best use of the grant money and be a more welcoming and safe place for students struggling with mental health. By improving mental health, benefits such as students’ engagement in school, academic achievements and an overall healthier student body would arise.