Wisconsin schools can now access free mental health coaching

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 10:01 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is partnering with the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center to create the Wisconsin Center for Resilient Schools (WCRS). The center will provide free mental health coaching to schools and districts across the state. Public, private and charter schools are eligible.

The WCRS, which was created on Jan. 20, will deploy coaches to help teachers create a positive mental health environment in the classroom through social emotional learning.

“Social emotional learning begins with your own self-awareness. And that is people being present with themselves and doing internal reflection of who they are and how they show off their beliefs, how they view the world, actions that they take and how they view others,” WCRS Statewide Coordinator Future Cain said.

She said the coaching will individualized, based on a school or district’s goals.

“We take your current system that is good and help you make it great so that you can have sustainable change that will impact the students’ mental health and well being,” Cain said.

She also said the coaching can also give teachers perspective on how they interact with their students.

“It could change the being and your beliefs and make you have a broader lens and understanding for how to impact change that will benefit all,” Cain said.

Most importantly, she said kids having strong mental health can have an easier time learning, which can lead to better grades.

“When a person is not mentally strong, how well does your memory and cognition function,” she asked.

Cain said, as of Monday, more than 30 schools and districts have signed up for WCRS coaching.

She said DPI sought the partnership after receiving many calls from people concerned about students mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

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