How can schools help their students and staff?
As a start, school personnel can be trained in Youth/Adult Mental Health First Aid, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and NAMI NH CONNECT Suicide Prevention. Schools that dedicate themselves to becoming a DMHA Mental Health-Friendly “PLACE” and actively strive to accept, support and provide mental health education is key to transforming the culture of a school for students and staff alike.
Initiatives Underway in Dover, NH
Dover High School Mental Health Initiative
The Dover High School MHI (DHS MHI) was formed during the summer of 2021 by a group of student leaders aiming to change the culture around mental health within the school. These students wanted to learn and do more for their fellow students to support their mental health needs, keep people safe and alive. Over 30 students participated in the NAMI NH Connect Suicide Prevention program to learn how to better support their peers, learn the risk factors and warning signs for someone experiencing suicide ideation and were trained to deliver this training to their peers in the school and community. The DHS MHI has evolved from 5 students to over 30 students in just a few short months. The Initiative is student-driven and 100% supported by DHS administration and community members.
Teen Mental Health First Aid.
A youth-focused training that teaches youth how to recognize and respond appropriately to another youth experiencing a mental health crisis.
NAMI NH Connect Student Empowerment program.
A new program for students interested in learning about mental health challenges and being trained to recognize and respond to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. This group will be made up of high school students who want to make a difference within their generation and community in mental health education, stigma elimination and suicide prevention.