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Iowa’s Baker Teacher Leader Center Offers Social-Emotional-Behavioral Health Webinars

This past summer, the Iowa Department of Education and the University of Iowa announced a new partnership aimed to expand mental health supports for students, teachers, and school administrators. The Iowa Department of Education designated $20 million in federal relief provided in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) Fund within the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRSSA) Act to help support the development of the Iowa Center for School Mental Health (ICSMH). This center is housed in the College of Education at the University of Iowa and will provide social-emotional-behavioral health (SEBH) focused training opportunities and resources for education professionals, pre-service teachers, school administrators, and conduct research on the effective delivery of these services.

In addition to the SEBH professional learning and trainings, the ICSMH is in the process of building a crisis response team, offering face-to-face and online crisis interventions, strategic planning support, needs assessment and SEBH program evaluation.

The funding and development of the ICSMH comes in response to alarming and abundant data that point to a rise in reported mental health issues across our country. A 2019 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) indicates that 60% of 12- to 17-year-olds who reported a major depressive episode in the past year did not receive any treatment. According to a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide was the second leading cause of death amongst adolescents. In addition, they reported there were nearly 2.5 times as many suicides (47,511) as there were homicides (19,141).

This 2021-22 academic year, the Iowa Center for School Mental Health and the Baker Teacher Leader Center invite you to join your fellow education professionals, through a series of webinars, in learning and dialogue focused on the SEBH needs of our P-12 students and teachers. This series aims to assist education professionals and school stakeholders in recognizing the signs and symptoms of serious mental illness and emotional disturbance. Furthermore, participants will examine strategies for assisting students and families with SEBH issues, which includes knowing when and how to identify appropriate school and community supports and services. Webinars in this series will offer practical advice for how our education professionals can engage in radical self-care and work together to advocate for the resources and supports necessary to be healthy and successful in our profession.

If you are interested in joining any of the eight webinars in this series, please click this link to read about each of the sessions, and to register. If you have questions about this series, please contact me, Kari Vogelgesang, the interim director of professional development for the Iowa Center for school Mental Health.

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