Change for Good Highlights

October 25, 2022 | Written By:

On September 14, 2022, we hosted Change for Good: Addressing the Student Mental Health Crisis

At this forum, HSC’s staff and state and local leaders shared successful models for addressing student mental health. Leaders from the U.S. Surgeon General’s office and the U.S. Department of Education were on hand to respond and share what their agencies are doing to address student mental health.

The full video of the event is here.

Here are some highlights from the event:

Rochelle Davis, President and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign
“While we are glad that the federal government is making student mental health a priority, we recognize the need for states to also play a strong role in supporting school districts to provide comprehensive mental health programs.”

Kenneth Varner, Community Engagement Manager, Healthy Schools Campaign
“Studies show that access to green space and outdoor play during the school day are associated with improved focus and academic performance, and a daily connection with nature supports mental health.  In a year with so much stress and loss, especially in Chicago’s most disinvested neighborhoods, these spaces are invaluable.”

Dr. Eva Stone, Manager of District Health, Jefferson County Kentucky Public Schools
“What started as Kentucky talking about arming teachers ended up with them forming some very good legislation to strengthen mental health services in schools, and that also included work on Medicaid.”

Heather Wines, Supervisor of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Prince William County Schools in Virginia
“We all know that student emotional well being a is a vital indicator of their achievement of academic success”

Jadine Chou, Chief of Safety and Security for Chicago Public Schools
“Our most important stakeholders are students. When we started on this journey, the first thing we did was bring students together to talk about what makes them feel safe. And we heard over and over again, safety is about relationships.”

Katie Dealy, Director of Engagement, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General
“At the federal level, we can create opportunities. But the success is not in the opportunities — it is in the incredible work we see at the local level. Big policy changes don’t automatically translate into changes on the ground necessarily or automatically. It can require incredible creativity and flexibility.”

Roberto Rodríguez, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, U.S. Department of Education
“Our teachers have experienced such a tremendous challenge in the disruption brought about by the pandemic. Our educators need additional tools, strategies and supports to meet the social-emotional needs that they are seeing show up in their classroom — manifestations of trauma and compounded needs around health. They are eager to address them but need support.”

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