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NSCSD Partnering With Contact Community Services for Mental Wellness & Suicide Prevention

Suicide Safety in Schools (SSIS), a mental health education program through Contact Community Services, provides crisis management and suicide safety training to Onondaga County school communities including students, parents, teachers, school support staff and district administration using evidence-based practices, protocols and trainings.
 
Contact’s SSIS Mental Health Educators are currently piloting the SSIS program in the North Syracuse Central School District where they have provided teen mental health training during physical education classes to over 3,000 students in grades 8-12. Recently, over 500 junior and senior high school students participated in Pathways to Wellness, an educational mental awareness activity using the Six Dimensions of Wellness model. Students were surveyed on their physical, intellectual, environmental, spiritual, emotional and social wellness. 70% of all students stated COVID-19 had an impact on all six dimensions of wellness and approximately 37% said they struggled the most emotionally.
 
North Syracuse Central School District’s Superintendent of Schools Daniel D. Bowles spoke about the district’s partnership with Contact. “Our most important job is to ensure that all students and staff are safe and healthy so that students can truly learn and fulfill their individual potential,” he said. “It is only with partnerships like this one with Contact that we can meet that goal.”
 
“The importance of acknowledging that everyone has mental health is something that is often overlooked in this digital age where it is easy to compare lifestyles and feel the pressures of the world, we all live in,” said Hannah Boyle, a junior at North Syracuse Central School District. “It is important to open the conversation around mental health and begin to destigmatize, educate and connect those with all the resources available to them. It can be a large and daunting topic but asking the right questions, educating oneself and maintaining a heart for positive social change is a great step toward creating a better informed and accepting community.”
 
Contact provides suicide safety, mental health and wellness activities and trainings to grades Pre-K through 12 as well as to parents, caregivers, and community-based organizations. Large scale awareness activities to promote wellness are also available. Trainings include Suicide Safety for School Staff, QPR, ASIST, Talk Saves Lives, More Than Sad, School Crisis Team planning and many more.
 
“We are building a comprehensive mental health and wellness program with an emphasis on suicide prevention that spans the entire educational system,” said Kristen Stanton, Suicide Safety in Schools, Program Manager for Contact Community Services. “We work with students, staff and families to educate them on the latest trends and needs of the students while also destigmatizing reaching out for help when needed.“
 
To learn more about the mental health education program ‘Suicide Safety in Schools,’ please visit contactsyracuse.org/suicidesafetyinschools or call 315.218-1922.
 
About Contact Community Services, Inc.
Founded in 1971, Contact Community Services, Inc. is a multi-faceted non-profit organization that supports the social, emotional, behavioral and mental health of children, youth and adults in Central New York. Contact delivers this support through three broad program areas: Crisis and Suicide Prevention; School Support Services; and Training and Education. For more information, visit ContactSyracuse.org or follow us socially on Facebook; Instagram and Twitter.