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#speakupAVES Mental Health Awareness Month

Sycamore Community Schools has made mental health, fighting its stigma, and advocating for its awareness, a priority among all buildings and within all grade levels. For the entire month of September, we will be engaging students, staff, and families in important conversations through our #speakupAVES campaign. 

Unfortunately, mental health issues are a drastically rising problem among adolescents. According to research performed by the Child Mind Institute, one in five teens and adults suffer from mental illness and 20% of children ages 13-18 live with a mental disorder. It impacts people of all ages, demographics, and income levels. That is why Sycamore is committed to caring for the whole child and providing support for students, families, and staff.


#speakupAVES and Warrior Run

Sycamore Community Schools continues to collaborate with 1N5, a local nonprofit organization committed to stopping the stigma and starting the conversation by increasing awareness and education about mental health. 

#speakupAVES Month is focused on raising awareness and will culminate with Sycamore High School’s participation in the 1N5 Warrior Run on October 5. As a part of the high school challenge, every dollar raised by the team will be reinvested back into Sycamore High School for mental health, mindfulness, and suicide prevention programming. Click here to sponsor the “Sycamore sAVES” team and select “donate.” You can also join the team by registering to be a part of the race by clicking here and select “join the team.”

School-Based Therapy Services

Meanwhile, Sycamore Schools continue to provide better access to mental health services for students. All seven Sycamore schools are now staffed with school-based therapists for the 2019-2020 school year. Children’s Hospital provides on-site independently licensed therapists at all seven schools at no cost to the district to confidentially serve students with significant mental health challenges. 

Medication Management Services

Beginning in September, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will also begin offering medication management services to families engaged in school-based therapy. These services include the evaluation, prescription, and management of medication for clients.  Medication management services are delivered by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). The APRN will be at our District Office at 5959 Hagewa Drive two half-days per month. If parents are interested in engaging with medication management services, parents can schedule appointments directly through their building therapist. To receive these services, students must be active clients of the school-based therapist.

Help Us Start the Conversation, Stop the Stigma

But it doesn’t end with therapy and medication. It’s about providing a safe environment for students so that they can come to school feeling comfortable and ready to learn. District administrators have initiated the process of developing a comprehensive, three-year strategic plan based on feedback from a voluntary survey on mental health. Simply put, mental health awareness is not limited to the month of September in Sycamore Community Schools.

As a superintendent, I am proud of the work our school counselors, teachers, and staff are doing to increase their own awareness while supporting the whole child. As a parent, I am continually reassured by the commitment our educators have to student social and emotional wellness. 

So for the month of September, let’s engage in tough and important conversations with one another around mental health. But let’s not let it end there. This is a year-long, lifetime battle, and Sycamore Community Schools is committed every day.

To discuss any of our mental health services available or with questions regarding services, Lisa Zelvy, Pupil Services Supervisor, is available to assist you.  She can be reached at (513) 686-1700 or zelvyl@sycamoreschools.org.