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Wisdom in Troubled Times (WITT) program brings counseling to 4 WNY schools

The programs' goal is to help students process and cope with recent mass shootings.
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 17:49:37-04

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW)  — Students across four Niagara Falls and Buffalo area schools gathered at the Gaskill Prep School Auditorium in Niagara Falls on Friday to discuss mental health.

"After mass shootings at the Jefferson Ave. Tops supermarket and a grammar school in Uvalde, we need to listen to one another and work together," said Reverend Eugene Coplin, addressing hundreds of students and faculty.

The Niagara Falls and Buffalo City School District called a meeting to advocate for the WITT program, known as the Wisdom in Troubled Times program.

WITT is most notably used as a counseling initiative to help students open up about mental health, specifically in the context of the recent mass shootings.

"We need to talk to one another. And when we talk use positive speech. Help one another," said Coplin, who spearheads the program.

One by one, students who participate the Wisdom in Troubled Times program (WITT), stepped up to the podium to deliver emotional remarks.

Students touched on suicide, eating disorders, depression, and bullying all as bi-products of stress and mental anguish.

"Every word out of a students mouth is bravery. They should be celebrated for that," said Coplin.

The program, which only operates currently at four schools, is being explored as an addition to other schools in the area.

"Everyone can benefit from a little extra help," said Coplin.