SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Students in health class at Public Service Leadership Academy (PSLA) at Fowler receive first aid training, but focused on mental health.
They’re learning, “how to ask for help, what to look for and who you can turn to for help,” explained Helio Health Training Institute Director Nathan Rauscher. “There will more conversations about more potential crises and what to do in case an individual or a peer has thoughts of suicide or self harm.”
Kimora Hayden is a freshman and said in the past she’s witnessed her peers dealing with mental health challenges.
“In the beginning, I felt helpless because I didn’t know what to do, but I feel like after a while I got a sense of how I could help,” Hayden recalled.
Now, she’ll have even more tools to help after this training that the Syracuse City School District has partnered with Helio Health.
“What we want to do is make sure they know exactly who their supports are, who the professionals are in the building and basically building relationships with their teachers so they feel comfortable asking for that help,” said PSLA at Fowler social worker Pat Otts.
They’re already feeling empowered.
“Everyone deserves to have their problems to be solved. They don’t deserve to be sitting there just alone, feeling worthless,” Hayden said.
The training Helio Health is providing lasts about two weeks long and it’s not just happening here, they’re doing it at all the high schools in the district. Staff is all getting the training.