Mental Health Matters
Mental Health matters. Our social-emotional well-being has an enormous impact on everything we do, every day. At Churchill, we have always talked about educating “the whole child”. Teaching literacy and math skills, making information accessible to our students, and providing them with a well-rounded curriculum that includes the arts and physical education, are what we do here. But developing strong self-esteem and confidence to face new challenges, building resilience and coping skills that will lead to personal and interpersonal success, and empowering our children to advocate for themselves, is how, ultimately, our students will master their destiny. As we forge ahead through the 21 st century, an emphasis on mental health in the school is critical to achieving our goals in an increasingly complex world. To accommodate this need, Churchill offers a clinical team composed of a school psychologist and a social worker in each division, comprising “Mental Health Support Services” (formerly the Psychology Department) for the entire Churchill community. Our new name more accurately reflects the work that we do with all members of the Churchill community.
The mental health clinicians provide direct services to all students in many ways throughout the day. Weekly, structured “Health and Human Relations” (HHR) groups, social skills sessions for younger students, support and affinity groups in each division, and “drop-in” visits all provide Churchill students with a safe space to explore a range of feelings or problem-solve about tricky situations and help them make good choices. The psychologists and social workers provide ongoing consultation with school staff to support the students in the classroom. With a focus on prevention, we continually introduce additional strategies that offer students and teachers relief from the stress that builds up during a typical day.
It is vital that we increase awareness about the importance of Mental Health, and that we are able to openly address topics that involve mental health as comfortably as we discuss our physical health. Churchill parents are our partners in fostering the growth and development of our young charges. To this end, the Mental Health Support Services team offers events and resources for our parents. Monthly Parent Support groups or Parent Forums are held for each division. We provide information, articles, suggestions, and referrals as needed. Helpful “tips” will occasionally be provided on the Churchill website or in newsletters. The Parent Association will also be addressing themes to promote emotional well-being during the course of the year.
I am pleased to introduce the clinicians of our Mental Health Support Services department:
In the Elementary School
Linda Price (psychologist)
Lauren Rashbaum (social worker)
In the Middle School
Orit Goldhamer (psychologist)
Janah Boccio (social worker)
In the High School
Ludovica Brigatti (psychologist)
Shannon Dressler (social worker)
Linda Price, M.S., N.C.S.P.
Director of Mental Health Support Services
The Churchill School and Center