By Damien Sweeney
We have had a lot of tragedy and loss among our youth in Kentucky this year. We have to continue to help our kids feel loved and valued. Let’s be leaders in this work.
At the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) we are currently developing a bullying and resilience lesson for elementary schools that seeks to teach these skills to our young kids. Our message is simple. You are loved. You are valued. You belong. We have sought feedback from elementary counselors, principals and teachers and should have a video out to you soon that walks you through this lesson.
In the meantime, we all (no matter the level) could use some resources to share with our staffs in order to offer them ways to help our young people that we love so much.
Here are some resources that offer risk factors, suicide warning signs, ways for you to help, the role of the school, the role of the parental/guardian notification and participation, resiliency factors:
- Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents & Educators
- You Are Not Alone KET Video Series: Renee Shaw hosts this KET series that features people on the front lines of mental health and emphasizes the importance of healthy, supportive relationships in helping youth overcome mental health challenges.
- Making Kids Feel Safe Video from Edutopia
- Action Alliance offers ways for communities to ways to offer positive messaging that offers hope and recovery in the suicide prevention effort.
- Stopbullying.gov offers great tips and resources for educators to help prevent bullying in our schools.
And sometimes your struggling students just need someone to tell them the words of this song at times. Listen, enjoy and become inspired!