LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) – “What we’ve been through with COVID, we’ve seen all the reports, we have a lot of community violence, just things going on in this community that I don’t think you can ever have. enough conversations about mental health and awareness.”
Talethia Edwards is chair of the Leon County Schools Title I Advisory Council.
At the moment, the council is trying to help the children deal with the stress and transition of the pandemic. This, after LCS leaders say they saw the children’s struggles and aggression, while returning in large groups.
“Our immediate family and others have been impacted by mental health and we’ve had a really hard time trying to find resources, especially consistent resources, so that’s been very helpful.”
On Wednesday, the council teamed up with Florida State University’s clinical psychology program for a parenting rap session to help mothers like Trinda Davis.
Some of the resources covered in the session ranged from individual and group therapy, parenting strategies, psychological assessments, and emotional and behavioral discussions.
Fatou Gaye is a doctoral candidate in FSU’s clinical psychology program and says this is the key to eliminating stigma.
“It’s really important for us to open up this discussion and provide a safe space.”
Something Trinda agrees with.
“There needs to be additional conversations, but then actions, steps to take, about mental health itself and the community and getting people to understand that it’s not negative but it’s positive,” Davis said.
This session comes right next to Leon County schools pledging to use their share of funding from the Commission on the Status of Men and Boys for Mental Health. The Title I Advisory Council plans to host several more mental health sessions like this in the future.
The Title I Advisory Council is made up of school representatives, community members, and parents. The council will continue to make recommendations for teacher retention, student success and mental health services going forward.