On Monday, November 4th, 1N5 joined partner schools in the Brain Health Network (BHN) to discuss how the schools can address the mental health issues plaguing their students and teachers. BHN is a group of administrator level representatives of suburban Cincinnati schools. Nancy Eigel-Miller provided an update to the group on the status of current legislation proposed in Ohio mandating that mental health be included in the health curriculum in the state. The proposed bill is backed by Rep. Tom Brinkman and Bridget Kelly. Currently, co-sponsors are being sought before the bill is presented to the Ohio House of Representatives.
Nancy also started the discussion around the narrative our students and parents are part of that emphasizes the inflated importance of college choices. Our children have more stress and anxiety than ever before as they go through the process of college preparation (including test prep, AP classes, class rank and college applications). By considering the culture in their schools and educating themselves on the studies and data that address this issue, the Brain Health Network can help change the story. Two books in particular are being used to learn more about the sources of stress and anxiety: Where You Go is Not Who You Will Be (by Frank Bruni) and The Years That Matter Most. How Colleges Make or Break Us (by Paul Tough).
Susan Sheldon of Mindpeace presented Dr. Slavin’s experience with processing his baseline depression and anxiety data. In addition, plans to collect this information in the BHN schools were discussed.
Members of the network had a chance to share and discuss suicide prevention and support from the perspective of their schools. This kind of interaction among the suburban school administrators goes a long way toward increasing mental wellness in local schools.