The Public School System’s Mental Health Program—Project Haligi Aware—held a professional development training for teachers and staff of the Tinian Elementary School and Tinian Jr./Sr. High School last Monday, April 12, 2021, to communicate the importance of mental health.
The training, called “Mental Health Matters,” was aligned with Haligi Aware’s advocacy to promote mental health and efficient self-care strategies, coping skills, and stress management through a variety of services, including the professional growth of educators. Haligi Aware prepares teachers and administrative staff to recognize and respond to students’ behavioral and mental health issues. A goal of the program is to improve crisis response, intervention, and access to school-based and community mental health services.
“One of the reasons I asked the mental health team to come to Tinian is because we have had many struggles with our staff and community in the last few months,” said Tinian Elementary School principal Lou Connie Manglona. “We are happy to partake in this presentation that expands more on coping skills and strategies to combat life’s daily stressors. We want to provide for our children in the best way that we can, so we need to be mentally and physically healthy.”
Tinian Jr./Sr. High School principal Dionne Santos said this was not the first time that they’d had support from the mental health team, having undergone previous professional developments offered by Haligi Aware’s mental health specialists. “However, I am grateful for the team coming here today and demonstrating how to effectively manage stress, especially with the two crises that we have gone through in such a short amount of time. I think that it is essential to not only support our students, but we also have to be secure with ourselves and aid our mental wellness.”
Haligi Aware is designed to support all students, staff, and families throughout the CNMI who may be experiencing feelings of sadness or hopelessness to work toward resilience and mental wellness. In the months to follow, Haligi Aware will continue to provide a multi-tiered system of support for the optimal mental wellness of students, teachers and community. (PR)