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Health and Wellness
        Page 4                                                                                                 Electronic Edition: www .teachingtodaywi .com

        Two Schools in the Chippewa Valley Offer Free Counseling for Students


        and their Families

            As teachers and students return to class-  program, to support the mental health needs of   Health Coordinator, and increase the number
        rooms this fall, keeping everyone physically   their students.          of  school-based  therapists.  More  recently,  a   Horse Therapy for Students
        healthy  is  a  matter  of  prime  importance  for   Beginning  with  the  2018–19  school   second grant awarded to Altoona in 2019 pro-  This  September,  Cardinal  Care  has
        schools  across  Wisconsin.  but  perhaps  just   year,  Chippewa  Falls  partnered  with  a  local   vided $75,000 in funding for the 2019–2020   also acquired the services of a miniature
        as important — maybe more important — is   company  to  offer  a  Student  and  Family   and 2020–2021 school years.   therapy horse. The 10-year-old miniature
        making sure everyone is mentally healthy.   Assistance  Program.  Through  this  program,   The  Student  and  Family  Assistance   horse,  named  Mocha,  will  be  working
            2020  has  brought  many  challenges,   students  and  their  families  receive  four  free   program  connects  families  with  contracted   with students at Jim Falls Elementary and
        but few as unique to so many young lives as   counseling sessions through local counseling   local  counseling  agencies.  Families  are  then   Chippewa  valley  High  School,  an  alter-
        months  of  shutdowns  and  social  distancing   agencies.  When  school  buildings  were  shut   connected  with  an  agency  of  their  choosing   native  school  for  academically  at-risk
        due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to   down  last  March,  students  and  families  in   for. These free sessions might be in-person, by   students.
        the CDC, earlier this past summer, more than   Chippewa Falls were able to continue access-  phone, or virtual video sessions.
        40% of U.S. residents reported struggles with   ing these services virtually or even in-person   All  families  in  these  districts  also  have
        mental  or  behavior  health  issues  due  to  the   when  possible.  The  school  district  says  that   access to a free 24/7 support line so that they
        pandemic.*                          there are an average of 50 students who access   can receive support whenever they need it.   cfsd.chipfalls.k12.wi.us
            With  their  students’  mental  health  in   these services each month.  It’s  one  more  way  these  schools  are
        mind,  two  Chippewa  Valley  school  districts                         looking  out  for  both  the  physical  and  emo-  (715) 726-2417
        are engaging with a new program to provide   Altoona School District    tional health of their students.
        free counseling services for students and their    The nearby Altoona      Has your school set up any special pro-
        families.                                          School district has also   grams to help students cope with the  unique
                                                           enrolled in this program   circumstances of our pandemic? We invite you
        Chippewa Falls School District                     this fall.           to share what you’re doing with other schools   www.altoona.k12.wi.us
                          Since 2014, the Chip-               Altoona was able to   in  Wisconsin.  Please  contact  us  at  renee@  (715) 839-6032
                      pewa  Falls  school  district        greatly expand its mental   teachingtodaywi.com.
                      has  offered  a  program   health  services  in  2018  when  it  received  a
                      called  Cardinal  Care,  a   $3.25 million state mental health grant. With   *  www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/pulse/mental-
                      school-based mental health   that grant, Altoona was able to hire a Mental   health.htm



        Addressing Mental Health Needs of                                                   Free Apps For Helping Kids

                                                                                                    Deal With Anxiety
        Racine Children Continued from Page 1
        public insurance. We also researched the con-  Racine Community Foundation.
        sequences of unaddressed mental health issues   We  also  opened  a  community  mental   Positive Penguins (Apple/Android)  Emotionary (Apple)
        which  included  poor  academic  achievement,   health  clinic  with  our  community  mental   The  four  positive  penguins  take  you   emotionary  guides  users  through  five
        increased school absences and increased like-  health provider that addresses the needs of all   on an interactive journey to help you under-  primary emotions to find the right category
        lihood of being suspended.          children in our community grades kindergar-  stand that feelings arise from your thinking   of feeling, with all definitions pared back to
            C2MH  and  RUSD  worked  together  to   ten through high school.     and if you challenge your negative thoughts   the essentials and displayed so they can be
        research and develop a business plan for the   As of last school year, our mental health   successfully you may be able to see things   easily compared. Users may create a drawn
        first school-based mental health clinic embed-  clinics have served more than 430 students and   in a more realistic and even optimistic way.  “selfie” to match these emotions.
        ded  into  our  RUSD  elementary  schools  in   our student data demonstrates improvement in   Website: positivepenguins.com  Website: www.sarahhatherley.com/publish-
        2015. The objectives of this project were to:  attendance,  office  disciplinary  referrals,  sus-           ing.php
          •  improve functioning/reduction of symp-  pensions and academic performance.  Stop, Breathe & Think Kids
            toms  of  children  with  a  mental  health   in RUSD, we have continued to provide   (Apple/Web App)  The Worry Box (Android)
            disorder, which reduces barriers to learn-  mental health services to our students through-                The  Worry  box  operates  as  journal
                                                                                     Meditation and mindfulness made easy
            ing                             out  the  CoviD-19  pandemic  –  a  significant   and fun for kids, to help them discover and   in  which  kids  can  record  their  anxious
          •  improve  accessibility  to  mental  health   benefit for students most in need during these   develop  their  superpowers  of  sleep,  being   thoughts. The app then helps kids find ways
            services                        challenging times. And that never would have   calm, learning to breathe or to resolve con-  to  manage  that  worry,  or  think  about  the
          •  improve school climate towards students   been possible had such a strong collaborative   flicts.     situation differently.
                                            not begun six years ago.
            with mental health issues           For further information contact:  Website: www.stopbreathethink.com/kids  Website: www.excelatlife.com/apps.htm
          •  Create  a  professional  development     Andrea Rittgers, Director of Student
            program  for  teachers  and  school  staff   Services at andrea.rittgers@rusd.org  Smiling Mind (Apple/Android)  DreamyKid (Apple/Web App)
            that reduces stigma and increases knowl-    Julie Hueller, Manager Racine Collabora-
            edge base and classroom tools to support   tive for Children’s Mental Health at julie.  Smiling  Mind  is  a  unique  web  and   Whether it’s for starting the day with
            those  students  with  mental  health  con-  hueller@rusd.org        app-based program developed by psycholo-  positivity to going to sleep listening to posi-
            cerns                                                                gists and educators to help bring balance to   tive  affirmations,  DreamyKid  offers  many
                                                                                                                   categories  and  mindfulness  programs  to
            Currently today, we have developed col-                              people’s lives. Includes a section on Mind-  teach your kids how to regulate their own
                                                                                 fulness  in  the  Classroom  and  is  suited  for
        laborative  partnerships  with  two  community                           kids ages 7–18.                   feelings and grow happy and strong. All it
        mental  health  providers.  We  have  imple-  www.rusd.org                                                 takes is a few minutes every day or week!
        mented six school-based mental health clinics   (262) 635-5600           Website: www.smilingmind.com.au   Website: dreamykid.com
        with a full-time therapist in each school loca-
        tion. This service is funded by RUSD and the
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