Following the recent, and well-attended, Youth Mental Health and First Aid workshop in Carnation last weekend, the Community Wellness Task Force reconvened on Monday to continue its work and planning efforts.
As introduced in Dr. Anthony Smith's recent Superintendent's message on Tuesday, the Task Force has created a website, www.ourcommunitytogether.org, as a place to host our messages, provide details of upcoming events, and share links to established crisis and counseling resources available in our community. We are beginning to transition messaging away from a general email blast, with information shared on this new website, and will continue to communicate through our established social media channels. We encourage you to visit and explore this site over the coming weeks and continue to monitor our partners on social media.
The counseling department at Cedarcrest has continued great work engaging with our students. The staff, and especially the counselors, are fully engaged in their continued care. To further address ongoing support for students, we have added local mental health counselors, through Larch Counseling, to our counseling team. These counselors have been a tremendous help by working more intensively with students, at least three days a week.
In addition to our dedication to connecting with student needs, the school district is also building capacity to best support our students. Riverview's lead counselor, Sheri Erhardt, indicates that Cedarcrest High School is gathering direct student input and strengthening connections through extended "no-movement" advisory periods and informal student forums. These connections and continued input will aid in shaping the future programming brought to our students.
Riverview is also aligning school initiatives such as School Culture and Climate (PBIS - Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports) to more directly focus on enhancing mental wellness. As mentioned last week, the district is implementing a new program called "Sources of Strength," that will begin with training selected staff and students this winter. With training in place, the program can begin rolling out in the spring. "Sources of Strength" is a comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but addresses many other mental health issues.
For more information on "Sources of Strength", please visit their website at: www.sourcesofstrength.org.
We encourage families to attend the many support resources that are being offered throughout the valley such as the Mental Health and First Aid or Grief Workshops, and Community Forums. No one is immune to this; therefore, it is essential that we all work to educate ourselves on understanding mental health challenges and how to respond in the most supportive manner.
Please visit the event calendar on our new www.ourcommunitytogether.org website for upcoming opportunities to participate in events and activities coming to our communities.
Shaun Tozer & Mike Ward Community Wellness Task Force