This is the final post in our series sharing how our partners and schools are collaborating. If you missed them, be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!
As we noted in Part 1 of this story, WeTHRIVE!’s Andrea Bourgeois last year started an advisory committee to bring WeTHRIVE! partners and school districts together to share information, make connections, and build mutually beneficial relationships.
The partners and school districts currently represented on the advisory committee are:
- Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library
- HEAT (Holistically Empowering All Teens)
- OSU Extension – Hamilton County
- Mt. Healthy City Schools
- North College Hill City Schools
- Reading Community City Schools
How have partners & schools connected?
Today we’ll take a look at MindPeace, a WeTHRIVE! partner who works with schools to promote school-based mental health services.
MindPeace promotes access to mental health care
Elana Carnevale, program manager for MindPeace, appreciates the ‘warm handoff’ that occurs when Andrea introduces her organization to a WeTHRIVE! school. “There are schools in need, but they don’t really understand MindPeace,” Elana explains. “Someone can tell them about it, but it’s different when you actually have someone say ‘here, this is Elana with MindPeace, we trust her.’ It’s been really nice to have that.”
MindPeace leads a network of school-based mental health partnerships so that students can access mental health services at school. Having therapy available at school removes many common barriers to mental health care. Elana says when school-based mental health care is available, 72% of students who are referred for care receive it. Nationally, only about 50% of children and teens can usually access care.
There is no cost for schools to partner with MindPeace. When school-based therapy is not available, MindPeace can work with parents individually to find community providers who meet their child’s and family’s needs.
MindPeace has also developed MindPeace Rooms™ that are located in schools throughout the Cincinnati area. “We started these rooms seven years ago to answer the needs of students who have emotional challenges that are really impacting their school and academic day,” Elana says.
Elana stresses that these are not ‘calming’ rooms. “Calm down rooms may calm a student down, but they’re not learning any skills,” she says. A MindPeace Room™ is a space where students can go to decompress and practice social-emotional skills. A trained adult is present in the room, but the student leads the process. “They are essentially developing resiliency,” Elana explains. “They’re able to learn the skills to do that and the hope is that they are more engaged in school and are able to be more successful.”
MindPeace in WeTHRIVE! schools
MindPeace currently has partnerships with four WeTHRIVE! school districts:
- Reading Community City Schools
- Lockland Local Schools
- Northwest Local Schools
- St. Bernard-Elmwood Place City Schools
Reading Elementary School opened two MindPeace Rooms™ at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. Stephanie Glad, the district’s wellness and community outreach coordinator, says students regularly use the spaces, mostly as a proactive measure to help them self-regulate their emotions and bodies. Lockland Local Schools also has a MindPeace Room™.
Learn more about MindPeace by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 513-803-0844.
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