School districts around the state are doing exemplary work to meet the social emotional learning and mental health needs of their students and staff. This space is designed to highlight the work of a particular school/school district each month for all to see! One part of ISMHI’s ongoing work is to harness the collective knowledge from around the state and share it, thus creating a community of practice for all. We see our “Spotlight on Schools” as a way to continue to create that community of practice, and to shine a light on the amazing work going on in our schools across the state! If you’d like for your school and/or district to be in the spotlight, or know of a school district you’d like to have recognized, please contact Dr. Kristy Eaton at email@example.com for more information.
Videos from Whole Child Summit 2020
Spotlight on Schools Making a Difference
One Student's Perspective
By: Megan Goley, Senior Hamilton Southeastern High School
Four years ago, students at Hamilton Southeastern High School began a mental health awareness club called Stigma Free HSE with the goal of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. Today, the club is structured under the national organization Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), which was founded by actress Glenn Close. The mission of HSE’s club has not waivered. The goal is to provide education on mental health and raise awareness that mental health needs require just as much care and attention as physical health needs. The first Bring Change to Mind club in the state of Indiana and already fifty students strong, the Hamilton Southeastern BC2M chapter puts an emphasis on outreach in their school and community through various projects and presentations.
Outreach projects have included making cards for kids in the inpatient care units of local behavioral health hospitals, creating happiness jars to place around Hamilton Southeastern High School and the surrounding junior highs, and designing posters to encourage runners participating in the Stride Over Stigma 5k (a run benefiting the Peyton Riekhof Foundation, a local nonprofit with the goal to end youth suicide). The student leadership of the club has made an especially meaningful impact on the younger grades within the school district by visiting several classes of students in grades 5-8. During these visits, important conversations are had in which students learned more about mental health and tested their knowledge. Not only has the Hamilton Southeastern club worked to make a difference in their district, but their reach has expanded into their community and even in another state. In October of 2019, two members of the student leadership team and their sponsors flew to Springfield, Missouri to present at the Burrell Behavioral Health Conference, Youth Mental Health: A Whole School Approach. Then in February, the team spoke at the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative Whole Child Summit. These opportunities have provided the Hamilton Southeastern BC2M club a platform to inspire educators to implement their own BC2M chapter in their communities. Through monthly meetings, outreach projects, and opportunities to share the story of Hamilton Southeastern BC2M, these students are working hard to not only start the conversation of mental health, but to deepen its impact and raise awareness.
Bring Change to Mind
Initially established in Indiana by the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative and with the support of the Indiana Department of Education, Bring Change to Mind has grown and now has a national staff member dedicated to expanding clubs across Indiana.
Bring Change to Mind’s High School Program gives teens a platform to share their voices and raise awareness around mental health. The goal is to empower students to educate one another, and their communities, and to create a culture of peer support within their schools. For more information about BC2M or to learn how a club can be established in your high school, contact Emily Nichols at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the national website at https://bringchange2mind.org/.