CAJE’s Mental Health Network Strengthens Our Community
Posted on 07/14/2023 @ 06:00 AM
One of the key functions of CAJE-Miami, or any “central agency” for that matter, is to convene and network education leaders and implement programs and initiatives that only a “central agency” can do on behalf of the entire school community.
A perfect example is CAJE’s Day School Mental Health Network, a group of 17 school counselors and psychologists convened monthly by Audrey Maman Bensoussan, CAJE’s Associate Director for School Markets.
You may recall the placards/stickers that were distributed to the funded schools earlier this year for BeWell Miami, displaying a dedicated hotline for our teens that they can call and/or text for anonymous and confidential support that came about as a result of multiple meetings and discussions around how best to answer to the rising mental health crisis plaguing our youth.
This year, the CAJE Day School Mental Health Network has partnered with Prizmah, the national organization for day schools, and has worked with Dr. Oshra Cohen, Program Director for School Counselors programming, to help our schools craft comprehensive safety plans.
What is the purpose of a safety plan/emergency response plan?
The purpose of a safety plan is to establish and maintain consistent measures for school personnel to follow in cases when a student displays unsafe behavior and is considered at risk for future unsafe behavior.
It is important for all those involved in responding to crises to coordinate and plan actions in advance.
By having an emergency response plan in place, schools will minimize the impact of an emergency or disaster and minimize confusion among those impacted.
Think about it: when an unexpected emergency arises, school counselors only have a few seconds to react.
By developing a comprehensive safety and emergency response plan in advance, counselors already have something concrete they can refer to that includes a specific process such as: who needs to be contacted in what order, who stays with the child in question, who contacts the parents, and so forth, in order to resolve the issue at hand.
"I was honored to have the opportunity to teach and collaborate with CAJE Miami's counselors. The counselors' focus and dedication to developing an evidence-based safety plan is a meaningful reminder that psychological well-being is an integral part of education. I credit CAJE Miami and the counselors with demonstrating their commitment to students' mental health and well-being by devoting the time to do this important work." ~ Oshra Cohen, Ph.D., Prizmah Program Director for School Counselors programming
CAJE’s Day School Mental Health Network will continue to meet with our school counselors and psychologists to keep identifying trending mental health issues as well as find ways to support our teens and our schools.