Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Okaloosa County School District is eager to help #BreakTheStigma of Mental Illness. Did you know that half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old? Three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24 (Mentalhealth.gov). According to suicidepreventionlifeline.org, “Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.”
This year’s campaign is Human. Kind. Be Both. Our School and Mental Health Counselors are focused on providing resources, including informational brochures, bookmarks, and contact cards, to students, staff, and parents. We are also producing a series of videos for next school year focused on a message that helps break the stigma of mental illness.
“The mental health of our students and staff is a priority of the Okaloosa County School District,” said Superintendent Chambers. “Next year, each high school will have a Mental Health Counselor on campus full-time, and the goal we are working toward is to have one in every school, full time, as soon as possible.” We currently have nineteen Mental Health Counselors- each counselor serves multiple schools. We strive to embody an environment where we are student-focused. With our mental health providers and school counselors, students can feel comfortable sharing their struggles and receiving the help they may need.