New mental health program aims to help students in Prince George’s County

There’s a new program in Prince George’s County, Maryland, focused on giving students and staff access to mental health resources.

The program is called RISE UP, or resilience in school environments understanding and practice.

“The mission is really to improve mental health and wellness,” said Laura Howard, the senior program manager.

It’s a partnership between Kaiser Permanente, Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Discovery Education. It’s now in 31 Prince George’s County schools, and will help teachers and students over a four-year period through on-site intervention, virtual support and training, as well as data-driven insights and workshops.

Students impacted by adverse childhood experiences, such as divorce or drug abuse, will be the focus.

Teachers will also receive support. “If we really want to support, we need to be able to support their personal mental health in conjunction with supporting the mental health and wellness of students,” Howard said.

There are now plans to implement RISE UP workshops in Frederick, Montgomery County, Baltimore and Northern Virginia to help create healthier learning environments.

“Mental health wellness is an essential foundation for healthy schools and healthy school climates,” Howard said.

Additional resources are also currently available to schools across the region.

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