My name is Kelly Danilson, and I am a FACS teacher at Prairieview. I was one of the fortunate staff members to take the Mental Health First Aid training last week at district office. On behalf of those of us staff that were there, we want to say thank-you for such an amazing opportunity! We feel that this is a training that all of the staff in our district would benefit from greatly.
During the training, we had wonderful discussions. One of the discussions we did have was in regard to the supports our district has in place for a variety of students. It was agreed that we have many supports in place for students with IEP's, 504 plans, at-risk, etc. We were left wondering, though, what supports do we have in place for students that are performing well in class? We have a large population of students that do what they need to day in and day out. We have noticed an increase in anxiety in the students wanting to achieve at a very high level whether it be academics or performance in activities in and outside of school. An example was given from one of our English teachers that one of her honors classes last year had to start class with breathing exercises in order to lower their stress before even digging into the content for the day. Their fear of failure and need to score at a high level was intense and very present. We have a lot of students performing at high levels in our district. This can easily be seen with the number of advanced math classes being taught at earlier ages. However, this did raise a concern for us and again led us to ask, what do we have in place for the students that do what they need to do and appear to be doing well?
During this discussion, we learned that Des Moines Public Schools has what are called Success Case Managers. These are staff members who support those students that would not necessarily raise red flags. We were given a contact name, Jamie Gilley, to talk with to learn more about how it is they serve students. Of course, those of us that were at the training began to wonder, is this something that we could bring to Waukee? With the growth we continue to see and the rise of mental health related concerns for many of our students, we believe that we should be taking a serious look at what supports we have in place, and more importantly what we may need to add to ensure ALL of our student population is cared for and receives the support that they need.
Thank you so much for your consideration!
More comments from teachers attending the Mental Health First Aid Course
- “I hope every educator, parent and others that work with youth will get the opportunity to take this course.”
- “I feel confident approaching a youth who may seem in distress”
- “Wonderful—wish more could/would take it (the course)”
We are very grateful to the Cameron Carico +10 Foundation for selecting Orchard Place as one of the organizations to benefit from the 2013 Cameron Carico Memorial Golf Classic. Orchard Place’s School-Based Therapy program currently includes 47 child therapists located in 70 schools in central Iowa. Our school based therapy program annually reaches nearly 2,000 children and youth who are experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. The funds we received will be used to build our resources and support tools for our middle and high school-based therapists. We currently have a therapy closet full of resource and support materials for elementary school therapists, but these same resources have been lacking for those working with our older population. Earlier resolution is always better, and your gift will help us to serve youth before these issues become severe. We also have a high school therapist who is being trained in a particular evidenced-based approach, and a very small amount of the money will be utilized to enable this therapist to finish her training so that all can benefit. Thank you for the many, many young lives which will be touched and changed by your generosity!-Orchard Place Child Guidance
It was my honor and pleasure to help. We are a family with many blessings. God is with us always, through the difficult times and in those times of celebration. Thank you for loving Cameron so much that you started the Foundation. -Sharron Lewis
All of you have made this event what it is. My family has been friends with Brian, Tony and Judy Carico for a very long time (35-40 years), and with the Cameron family dating back to our high school days. As I told Brian on the day of the last golf outing, "as long as you have this event, the Shaffer family will be represented". Keep up the exceptional work, in the name of Cameron, and we will continue to support your efforts. - Brad Shaffer
For My Cousin: Cameron
I know you’re in a better place,
But I just can’t seem to forget your face
It was sad to see you go this way,
But God has assured us it will be ok
Your three cousins’ creation,
Is a CC +10 Foundation
A golf kart here a golf kart there,
Many smiles in the air
Family and friends all around,
Not a single person feeling down
You live in us; I have no doubt its true,
We’re always gonna be with you
Joined together as one,
You have taught us to overcome
Looking up into the sky,
I know that you are flying high
I miss your hugs and your high fives,
You are an AMAZING COUSIN in my eyes- Poem by Andi Cameron