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Hoopeston, IL: Students learn about mental health as district becomes 'trauma informed'

Nov 5, 2018, Hoopeston (IL) Chronicle: Hoopeston Area students take part in Mental Health Initiative http://www.newsbug.info/hoopeston_chronicle/hoopeston-area-students-take-part-in-mental-health-initiative/article_a070d0fa-f785-5213-9d6f-e7f37ffbb28b.html Several Hoopeston Area High School students took part in a recent Mental Health Initiative in Gibson City. School Counselor Mary Johnson accompanied the students to the program. … Like Hoopeston Area, Gibson’s school district is also moving towards being a “Trauma Informed” school district, Johnson said, and this teacher, Rick Ertel, worked with several of her students and they came up with the idea of having a mental health conference for young adults. … From that inspiration, the GCMS students created their Mental Health Initiative and around 18 schools took part in the program Oct. 30. ‘Trauma-Informed?’ Johnson outlined what moving towards a “trauma-informed” school means. … “When you move towards trauma-informed, you’re looking at the whole child, not just their academic well-being, you’re looking at their social-emotional, their mental and physical well-being,” she said. “You’re taking into consideration everything that makes this child up.” Johnson said that trauma-informed practices focuses on what the child has been through socially, emotionally and physically that may have caused trauma in their lives…. Johnson said the program started with an introduction from the organizer along with allowing students to meet the therapy dog that GCMS has adopted. … Johnson said the dog is there to work with students who have experienced trauma. … Some of these topics included: stress/anxiety coping skills, healthy relationships, depression/suicide, family dynamics, bullying, substance abuse and nutrition and sleep as a part of mental health. …