The welfare and wellbeing of students impacts entire communities. Schools that focus on mental health and social/emotional learning with their students foster deeper connections and develop skills like listening, teamwork, and relationship building. This type of instructional strategy can also positively impact the mental health of students by fostering connections and communication. In this conversation, we will share the story of how a mental health organization partnered with local schools to implement research-based strategies. We will share how Grandville Public Schools in Grandville, Michigan, piloted this program of instructional strategy in all grades, the ways it has evolved since its launch in 2011, and the impact it has had in the built environment.
1. Learn components of an evidence-based mental health program for schools.
2. Understand a framework for individual action that can impact others' mental health.
3. Understand age-appropriate programs that districts can implement to produce a positive campus climate and create mental health awareness.
4. Identify both large and small design elements that support social and emotional learning and development.
Jeff Hoag, Architect / K-12 Practice Leader, GMB Architecture + Engineering
Jeff leads the K-12 Education practice at GMB Architecture + Engineering. He is passionate about designing spaces that empower teachers and equip students to learn. Jeff is a member of the Safe Schools Preparedness & Response Task Force which recently updated the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) School Safety Best Practices Guide. Jeff earned his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Michigan.
Roger Bearup, Superintendent, Grandville Public Schools
Roger has been the Superintendent of Grandville Public Schools since 2015. Before that was a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. He has 31 years of educational experience. Roger has been on several panels across West Michigan discussing mental health, social/emotional learning, and how districts can support students and adults. Grandville Public Schools has a continued student mental wellness focus through the Be Nice program, along with the employment of social/emotional counselors and mental wellness coordinators.
Christy Buck, LLBSW, Executive Director, Founder, Mental Health Foundation, Be Nice Program
With over 33 years of experience in mental health, Christy passionately leads the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. Her desire for transforming and saving lives through mental health education led her to develop two programs – be nice. and live, laugh, love – and become a certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid. Christy and her staff have educated thousands of individuals each year through their education programs and other various speaking engagements and presentations.