The Laredo ISD Guidance and Counseling Department is helping district employees put mental health first by implementing a monthly Social Emotional Learning activity at the new LISD Administration Building.
On early mornings, employees are met with a festive table by the entrance of the building and with a sharpie in hand are asked to answer the simplest of questions: what brings you joy, what you are grateful for?
“The purpose of SEL is to build relationships in the classroom. LISD is taking it a step forward by initiating a monthly SEL activity with a Kindness Tree,” confirms the LISD Guidance and Counseling Department Director Rosina Silva. “In order to strengthen relationships in this building, it’s important to create communication between each department and maintain a positive work environment.”
Each month holds a theme with a decorative post that is respective to its holiday. Employees will be able to answer a monthly question and fill the artistic tree with positive notes and affirmations.
According to the Committee for Children website, Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. The Committee for Children further explains that people with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.
LISD continues to lead the way by also offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training for employees and community members. Youth MHFA is the initial help given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before appropriate treatment and support are obtained. The course serves to demystify the important topic of mental illness (i.e. to increase mental health literacy and to decrease the negative perceptions surrounding mental illnesses and addiction).
The participants in this course are taught how to recognize the symptoms of mental health problems; how to offer and provide initial help; and how to guide the individual to professional help, if appropriate, by trained LISD coordinators, administrators, counselors, and behavioral specialists.
“This training has really been inspirational, educational and informative because now more than ever our youth are going through mental health issues because of the pandemic. By taking this course it sheds some light on what the children are feeling and how we, as adults, can help them,” Silva said.
For more information, please contact the Guidance and Counseling Director Rosina Silva at (956) 273-1262.