Superintendent: I-SS committed to providing a 'champion for every child'
Special to SVLfreenews.com
Some 1,500 Iredell-Statesville schools teachers, teacher assistants, custodians, bus drivers and support services staff packed The Cove Church in Mooresville and in Statesville on September 30 to build their knowledge of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness.
In Mooresville, faculty and staff were greeted with author and speaker Morris Morrison, who charged them with doing “whatever it takes” to reach our youth. Following a motivational address that included lots of laughter and some tears, educators across the district took part in a training called “Talk Saves Lives,” a program presented by Betsy Rhodes of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Over the course of the day, educators learned about trouble signs, risk factors, and how to help those who struggle with suicidal ideation.
Superintendent Brady Johnson said the district takes this topic very seriously.
“We are very much committed to the idea of a 'champion for every child' in the Iredell-Statesville Schools," Johnson said. "Since school started this school year, we have trained almost 2,500 educators to recognize warning signs of suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety. We are keenly aware that this topic if of utmost importance in schools across the country today.
"We intend to face it head-on in the Iredell-Statesville Schools,” he added.
The Iredell-Statesville Schools Suicide Prevention Task Force, which is made up of educators, school counselors, parents and health care professionals, crafted a roll-out that began in August. Moving forward this school year, students are taking part in advocacy time each week at every school in the district. The goal includes assisting students as they work to “Take Care of Yourself and Others” and promotes the idea of #TalkItOut.