Posts Tagged expansion

NASH:PAWS-itevely Promoting Mental Health

NASH:PAWS-itevely Promoting Mental Health

North Allegheny Senior High School began its second year in the program-and brought their Intermediate High School with them, too! We’re excited to expand our program in the NA school district and NASH has really taken Stand Together and ran with it. We look forward to another year with this group of youth! And it all starts with the training…

Many of the students in the team returned from last year and a handful of passionate new students came together in October to learn about mental and substance use disorders, the definition and examples of stigma, and how to help their peers. Students from various groups across the school spent two days getting to know each other and work together to plan projects to end the stigma associated with mental health and substance use disorders in their school.

Some activities got intense-it was a pretty competitive group!-but the students learned a lot and had lots of fun. The team had insightful responses to the role playing prompts in the What Would You Do? exercise and were eager to share what they learned with their peers. The group had learned so much and could share the ‘Big 5’ by heart:
1) You matter.
2) You’re not alone.
3) SHE (support, hope, encouragement aka How to Help)
4) 1:4 people have a behavioral health condition
5) WHAPP!: withdrawal, hopelessness, agitation, personality change, and poor self-care (the signs of a mental or substance use disorder)
By the end of the day, the group was really starting to come together and already had some great ideas for projects!

The group was overflowing with ideas for this year. It was incredibly difficult to pick only a few to focus on, but the students combined some ideas, elaborated on others, and were able to form concrete planning for three big projects, including peer education in PE classes *2 days!*, a ‘truth tree,’ and permanent mural. They also want to continue using visual media and videos to share the information with their peers; this year, they’re going to focus on what to do and how to help. By incorporating physical/social activities, informational presentations, and moving visuals, NASH hopes to continue their work to decrease stigma in their school.

Students finished up the day by sharing a behavior that they were personally going to start and/or stop doing to address stigma as a result of the education and experience they received during the Stand Together training. Team members shared commitments to care more about their own mental health, speak up when someone uses stigmatizing language, and let others know that they’re there for them when they’re struggling.

Thank you, NASH, for pledging to speak up and speak out against stigma, to not use stigmatizing language, to share information, resources, and experiences, and to provide support, hope, and encouragement to others. You’re changing your school, community, and the world! Keep up the good work!

Written by Danyelle, coordinator

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Let’s Get It Started! Stand Together 2019-2020

Let’s Get It Started! Stand Together 2019-2020

Summer is winding down, but Stand Together is just getting started! We’ve been meeting with advisors, training new assistants, and getting Montaja ready to start her new role this year. We’re almost ready…are you?

This year, 21 Allegheny County schools will be trained to plan and implement projects in their schools. This year’s school’s include:

Allderdice HS (PPS), Avonworth HSCAPA (PPS), Deer Lakes HS (Cheswick), Dorseyville MS (Fox Chapel), Montour HS (McKees Rocks), North Allegheny HS (Wexford), North Allegheny IHS (McCandless), North Hills HSOakland Catholic (Pgh), Perry HS (PPS), Propel HS (Braddock Hills), SciTech (PPS), Shaler HSShaler MSSouth Allegheny MS(McKeesport), South Park HSThomas Jefferson HS (Clairton), West Allegheny HS (Imperial), West Mifflin HSWoodland Hills HS (Churchill)

(Click the links above to view the school’s past projects or website to learn more!)

Montaja & Danyelle with Smiley after an advisor orientation

In addition, we have some new and returning staff. Montaja has transitioned from assistant to trainer and assistants Jamie, Jordan, Julianna, and Ami are returning for another year. We also have three! new assistants: Ky, Savana, and Savanna. Yes, two Savan(n)a’s…at least their names will be easy to remember!

As Stand Together continues to grow, we look forward to working with more schools in Allegheny County, and even across the state and country! This summer, Danyelle and Mike trained a group of youth to facilitate Stand Together programs in Delaware. In addition, Stand Together will be offered in the Jewish Day Schools in Squirrel Hill and a high school in Venango County. As you can see, we’ve been quite busy!

Delaware squad

But now, it’s your turn! School trainings start in a few short weeks and we couldn’t be more excited. Tried and true activities are coming back in fun, improved ways and new members are getting ready to share their passion for mental and substance use awareness with the world. Hang tight-school workshop blogs will be up soon! See you in a few!


Written by Danyelle, coordinator

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