‘Increased mental health awareness in classes could help remove stigma’

Posted on Jun 07 2019


The 4-H Marianas Program wants the Public School System to increase mental health awareness in classrooms. That means injecting mental health awareness lessons in curriculums and increasing counselor presence in public schools.

In a presentation at the BOE meeting last Wednesday on Capital Hill, Tayna Belyeu-Camacho, the Family, Community, and Youth Development Program head, said the purpose is “to have the [Board of Education] and PSS, as a system, hear the sentiments of the youth and how they view the issue of mental health through their lenses.”

The 4-H Marianas Program is under the purview of the Family, Community, and Youth Development Program, which itself is under the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Service.

4-H Marianas Program president Alyssa Attao underscored the importance of removing the stigma surrounding the topic, saying that, “…if you are not in the best mental state, you will not be able to reach your fullest potential.”

With more counselors in classrooms, she said there would always be a person to help and guide students in terms of mental health.

Also present during Wednesday’s BOE meeting were 4-H Marianas Program public relations officer Dan Salde and 4-H Marianas Program Tinian representative Isa Long.

Attao, Salde, and Long also represented the CNMI delegation at the national 4-H conference in Washington, D.C. (Marc Venus)

Marc Venus

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