SEL Awardee

Roslyn Dashiell

Ewing High School
Ewing Public Schools
Ewing, NJ
“Since 2015, Mercer County has experienced an alarming trend of increasing youth suicides, suicidal ideation and self-harm attempts. Suicide remains the third leading cause of death for youth age 10-24 in New Jersey, and Mercer is among the top 3 counties with the highest rates of suicide attempts and self-inflicted injuries statewide. Many of the young people we serve are living with mental health issues which have emerged and become more apparent following their return from the isolation of COVID lockdown and stay-at-home orders. Through this project, we aim to provide education, resources and tools to support and empower our youth to be mental health first-aid responders among their peers, as they are often the first to notice that something is amiss with a friend or colleague. Unlike Youth Mental Health First Aid which trains adults to assist youth with mental health risks, Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) is a peer-to-peer program to train adolescents to identify and respond to peers who are experiencing mental health problems or are in crisis. By engaging our students in the peer-to-peer learning process and imparting the crisis-prevention skills and education available through tMHFA, we will enhance the school's safe and supportive learning environment by destigmatizing mental-health issues while empowering our youth with skills and tools to identify and de-escalate potential mental health crises among their peers and connect them with trusted adults and resources that will provide the much-needed intervention and support to get them on a path of recovery and healing.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, Girls & Young Women of Color, High School, Students with Disabilities, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban