DCSD students, staff to get more mental health resources

School district announces collaboration with Kaiser Permanente Colorado


The Douglas County School District and Kaiser Permanente Colorado are teaming up to provide more mental health resources to students and staff.

Following the May 7 shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, DCSD will see mental health trainings and $99,999 in community benefit support from Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest nonprofit health plan, the district announced in an Aug. 1 news release.

“We are forever grateful for the support and care shown by our partners at Kaiser Permanente following the tragedy in May,” DCSD Superintendent Thomas Tucker said in the release. “Their care and dedication to the health and well-being of our students and staff is truly remarkable.”

DCSD joins five other Colorado school districts that are part of Kaiser Permanente's Thriving Schools Mental Health cohort. Formed in 2017, the group promotes trauma-informed care policies and practices in individual school districts.

Mental health and wellness training will be provided to school staff, administrators and teachers through Kaiser Permanente's Resilience in School Environments: Understanding and Practice (RISE UP) program. The learning session is designed to foster resilience and support staff as they work with traumatized students, the media release says.

“Research shows that adverse childhood experiences impact students' ability to learn and grow,” DCSD Personalized Learning Officer Nancy Ingalls said in the release. “Use of trauma-sensitive approaches can provide the support students need to process their trauma and increase their readiness for learning, and can strengthen a culture of resilience in schools.”

As part of an advisory council for Kaiser Permanente Colorado, DCSD staff will help guide the development of a new program for high school students called Ghosted. The interactive play is designed to address mental health issues including anxiety and depression, followed by a suicide prevention workshop.

The new partnership means DCSD staff, teachers and administrators will have access to online mental health resources from Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which include assessment tools and action plans to help launch new mental health initiatives within the district.

“These programs will directly benefit students and staff and we are very glad we have an opportunity to help,” Ron Vance, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, said in the news release.


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