Community comes together to address mental health issues

July 11, 2017


Background on the district's mental health initiative

Death by suicide is something that occurs in all communities. It doesn’t discriminate. Many of our students and families have been impacted by suicide in some way. It is a harsh reality, and it is something we cannot choose to ignore.

School district leaders have been approached by dozens of community partners - from mental health professionals and doctors to police officers, pastors and parents in recent months. They’ve all had a common question ... “What can we do?” 

Since June 2017 more than 220 individuals have been involved in conversations related to students’ mental health.

Community Conversation #1: June 21, 2017
More than 60 people came together to talk about the many challenges facing our students and identify the mental health resources available, as well as the gaps that exist within our community. We had wonderful conversations, and generated many ideas for further exploration. See Agenda / View feedback gathered.

Community Conversation #2: Sept. 19, 2017
Nearly 70 people attended our second conversation during which we recapped the feedback gathered in June and provided an overview of the many social and emotional supports being provided to students and families through our schools. See Agenda / View Social Emotional Framework Presentation / View Handout

Community Conversation #3: Nov. 6, 2017
During this meeting work groups began to form to set priorities and develop action plans to support the mental health needs of students and families in our community. Sign up for a work group. See Agenda / View Priorities

Suicide Prevention Training:
Providing training was an important theme that emerged in our conversation. To that end, we are excited to be working with Washington County and a local mental health provider to offer a variety of opportunities for our community to be trained in a highly-effective suicide prevention program called QPR. QPR - which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — is just 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Parents and anyone who works with youth (coaches, scout leaders, youth ministers, etc.) are encouraged to be trained in QPR.

  • In-Person Training: 55 people took part in a QPR training on Thursday, Aug. 17.

  • Online Training: Washington County is providing free online training for up to 300 community members. To sign up for the training: 

    • Go to the QPR Gatekeeper training Portal-
    • Enter WCDPH as your Organization Code
    • Set up your individual training account using your email address
    • Start learning
    • Refer others who work with youth

Future Activities:

  • Mental Health Conversation #4: Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. at Oak Glen Golf Course in Stillwater.
In Crisis? Call ...
  • Canvas Health, 651.777.5222
  • Family Means, 651.439.4840

  • Youth Service Bureau, 651.439.8800

  • Washington County Adult and Children Line: 651.777.5222