Pennsylvania health officials highlight mental health in schools

HALIFAX, Pa. (WHTM) – The holidays can be a difficult time of year for people of all ages when it comes to mental health.

State education officials spent the day at a Halifax school to remind students not to fight in silence.

At the round table, officials from the Wolf administration discussed how students can understand and then deal with mental health problems. They wanted to remind students that resources are available if they need help.

“It’s really a big issue, the pandemic has done children a great disservice in many ways and this is one of them. Where they were isolated and not necessarily getting the support, it took them a really long time,” said Ellen DiDomenico, assistant secretary of the Department of Drugs and Alcohol Programs.

Cool Cats Caring Club, Students Against Destructive Choices and aevidum everyone took part in the conversation. Students and officials made snowmen, posters and snowflakes with positive messages to be displayed at the school’s entrance – a way to remind students they are not alone.

“It just takes a whole toll on your whole life like you can be such a bright soul and then when mental health hits you really hard you could just become the worst of the worst. I just feel like everyone needs to come together,” said Paige Miller, a member of Communities that Care.

After creating snowflakes, the students had the opportunity to ask the officers their own questions.

“You really learn a lot from talking to these kids because they see it in themselves and in their peers every day. And so we can really use that to understand how we can do better,” says DiDomenico.

“Regardless of the season, it’s important that we look out for one another, and under the District’s steadfast leadership, Halifax students are at the forefront of supporting their friends and peers,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “The holiday season and winter months can be particularly difficult for some people, and the Wolf administration is committed to providing critical support and resources to our students, educators and school communities.” Pennsylvania health officials highlight mental health in schools

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