Fall Mental Health and Wellbeing update – October 2023
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October 24, 2023
Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,
On behalf of the Offices of Prevention & Intervention and School Climate & Culture, we hope that your student(s) had a great start to the 2023-2024 school year! We want to share some information and announcements as we work to continue to support priority area 1 in Accelerate Philly, to improve student well-being throughout this school year, including more consistent access to mental and behavioral health services and great social-emotional supports.
Last school year, the School District of Philadelphia launched a partnership with Kooth—an online mental health and well-being platform created for young people. It is a 24/7 safe, confidential website for young people to find online support and counseling at no-cost to them or their family. Kooth provides a wide-range of options for students including self-help resources, peer community interactions, and chat-based counseling with licensed professionals. With the overwhelming positive response of students using Kooth, we’re excited to announce that this year, Kooth will expand its resources to include middle school students. There is a consent process for students ages 11-13. You can learn more about Kooth in this video or read about the resources available. Kooth is also offering parent and caregiver info sessions on the first Wednesday and third Thursday of each month through November.
Over the summer, the School District of Philadelphia and Kooth kicked off a Summer Wellness Campaign for students, encouraging them to continue caring for their mental health and well-being throughout the summer months. Schools competed to increase their student engagement with Kooth, for the chance to have a school visit in the fall from Kooth ambassador and Philadelphia Eagle Offensive Tackle Lane Johnson. Congratulations to Northeast High School, the winning school for staying engaged this summer!
Inner Strength App
Inner Strength VIBE App is a free mindfulness app that combines evidence-based, trauma-sensitive mindfulness and self reflection tools that students can use. On the Student Hub, there are free resources such as guided meditations, courses, and for Students – Inner Strength Education curated playlists that create a mindful space.
Bullying Prevention Month
October is Bullying Prevention Month and our commitment to creating supportive environments continues. We want to take time to remind all of our school community members that bullying is not tolerated. Incidents of bullying should immediately be reported to the online Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination Reporting form, or the building principal or another employee in the school.
Our school communities are encouraged to continue to use the Community Meetings to build community and promote inclusivity. You can learn more on the District’s Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination webpage.
Jayme Banks, PsyD, MBA Abigail Gray, PhD
Deputy Chief of Prevention & Intervention Deputy Chief of School Climate & Culture