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The Safer Students, Stronger Schools (4S) campaign began as a response to the growing youth mental health crisis in the United States. The approach itself represents one of the traditional focal areas of CISDR, student mental health and wellbeing. The 4S Campaign expands the resources available to students with on-site mental health personnel, the technological capacity to serve students remotely, and the training of additional school staff in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to help identify students in crisis and those with untreated/undiagnosed mental health issues. The initiative has also expanded to promote wellness more broadly, with programming designed to reduce stress, promote self-awareness and self-care, and foster conflict resolution strategies, coping skills, and resilience.

The Safer Students, Stronger Schools Advisory Council will be chaired by Brint Ryan along with members Lynn McBee, Bob Mong, Roland Parrish, Eric Reeves, Paul Stephens, and Dr. Madhukar Trivedi.

“Now more than ever, our site coordinators are finding that mental health issues are the underlying cause of problems with academics, behavior and attendance,” said Adam Powell, CEO of Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region. “Having a full-time, dedicated clinical team, led by a licensed counselor, enables us to quickly help students experiencing a crisis and connect them and their families to resources in our area to provide ongoing care.”

“We know that students who have their basic needs covered and have access to physical and mental health resources do better in school,” said Lynn McBee, member of the Safer Students, Stronger Schools Advisory Council. “Our goal is to ensure all students have those areas of their life covered so they can stay in school, succeed in school and achieve in life.”

Currently, Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region operates on 140 campuses and employees three (3) full time mental health staff. This campaign will increase organizational capacity through the recruiting, hiring, and training of more staff members, resulting in thousands more young lives being changed by the hard work of CISDR staff.