Madison City Schools mental health initiative

Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 12:02 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - One north Alabama school system is trying to combat the now national emergency. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared youth mental health issues a national emergency.

If you walk through a Madison City School you will see QR codes posted. However, it’s what’s embedded in those codes that will make a difference. It’s all part of a mental health campaign.

“We have seen an increase in mental health needs over the last decade. The numbers have significantly increased year after year,” said Mental Health Coordinator for Madison City Schools Stephanie Allen.

Allen says the pandemic hasn’t helped. Now MCS is providing a resource to anyone in the school system struggling.

“We need those students to know who they can go to, who they can help, the trusted adults they can go to when concerned about themselves or a friend,” said Allen.

The QR code is displayed in middle and high school classrooms and common spaces.

The Enrichment Center, one of the resources, is the sole provider for school-based mental health therapists for Madison City Schools.

Executive Director, Allison Spratley says the numbers are shocking.

“Last semester alone our counseling team facilitated 2,207 sessions. That number is pretty shocking to us as well. We haven’t seen numbers like that in a really long time,” Spratley.

Spratley says these posted Q-R codes break down the intimidation factor.

“It is an acknowledgment that we know what they are going through. We see it, we feel it, and we want to do anything to help,” said Spratley.

Since its launch last week, there have already been 485 clicks on the QR Codes. This rollout comes as Madison City Schools is planning its third Mental Health Summit on March 30th.

MCS says, “The rollout comes as MCS is planning its third Mental Health Summit for the public (the first was January 2020 led by the Enrichment Center). This free event is on March 30 in the Bob Jones High School gymnasium, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The summit will be a resource fair where help organizations will staff tables to answer questions and hand out resource materials. Breakout sessions will also be offered. A similar summit at James Clemens High School last year drew a large turnout.”

You can read more about the mental health initiative here.

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