PSS to promote mental health


The Public School System anticipates 800 participants to take part in a series of training for teachers to promote mental health for students and their families.

According to PSS senior director Dr. Yvonne Pangelinan, PSS was awarded the Trauma Advised Students Advocacy grant last April through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency. The TASA grants will help aid the trauma-informed training program for teachers.

Pangelinan said that the grant was initially written in response to the ongoing recovery from Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 and Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018 and that many in the community are still going through trauma.

“There are still a lot of emotional and social and emotional things that we know we need to attend to,” Pangelinan said. “We saw that in our students’ data. We saw a rise in several different students’ mental health issues.

She concedes, though, that they see more pressing mental health issues that they need to take care of these days. “We have five days of onboarding set up in September that will be focus on social-emotional learning and what it means to be trauma-informed,” she said.

Being trauma-informed means being able to identify signs of trauma in your students, school staff and having the skills to respond.

The conference is scheduled on Sept. 1, Sept. 4, Sept. 9, Sept. 10, and Sept. 11, from 7:30am to 11:30am each day.

“Mental health, like physical health, is about building yourself up so that you are stronger and you have coping skills,” Pangelinan added.

She said the training is just the beginning of many mental health conferences, including trainings that will support LGBTQ, students who have anxiety and depression, and suicide awareness. (Justine Nauta)

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