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Social and mental health for students

Posted at 7:49 AM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 07:49:59-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The classroom, playground, and school activities are where students are able to socialize with friends, but for this year it will be different.
Since Buffalo Public Schools will start remote, the Student Support Services team has been working on a plan to keep kids socially and mentally well.

“It’s critically important that our children are well rounded socially, emotionally, mentally, nutritionally, all of those things factor into how they will be successful,” Dr. Tonja Williams, Associate Superintendent of Student Support services, said.

She says each school is connected with a local mental health organization.

“For the first two weeks of school we are spending an inordinate amount of time working carefully to build community with students even tho it is remote, we are building a tight-knit relationship remotely,” Dr. Williams said.

Dr. Williams says if students need more help, there will be small group counseling and individualized mental health counseling. She hopes to start the school year by giving kids some closer from last year.

“We want to start the year by giving them some space to close out some of the experiences from last year,” Dr. Williams said.

If parents are concerned with their student’s mental well being, they should talk with the teacher. Each school has social workers and counselors available.

“It kinda reminds me of a phoenix, sometimes when times seem like they are the bleakest and the most challenging, it times like these that really bring out the resilliency and the best, we have heard from community partners and volunteers,” Dr. Williams said.