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Lake County, FL: District ads "mental health liaisons"; staff to train in mental health first aid

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

Aug 11, 2019, Leesburg (FL) Daily Commercial: What’s new as Lake County students return to school TAVARES — After an all-too-short summer, another school year approaches in Lake County…. Specialists Students will have two new staff members and resources to familiarize themselves with on campus: school nurses and mental health liaisons. The school nurse is a more familiar role and the name describes the job. They can help assess and manage a student’s medical needs and get them the resources they need if they aren’t who the student needs. The mental health liaison is new. That role is dedicated to serving students’ mental health needs. According to Kristine Landry, the district’s director of student services, their job will be to identify the needs of students and connect them with the necessary supports, whatever they may be. Mental health initiatives Mental health liaisons are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the district’s new mental health initiatives. Behind them is a new system of supports that will continue to develop, according to Landry. Landry said anyone on campus making direct contact with students will be trained in youth mental health first aid, forming the basis of the larger system. Teachers and staff can determine when a student needs help, then get them to the liaison, who can direct them to psychologists, outside resources or emergency services as necessary. … PASS and restorative practices The Positive Alternative to School Suspension Program, new this year, is an in-school suspension program that removes students from their classroom while allowing them to keep attending school. It was developed with the help of students from eight schools with the goal of allowing students to continue to work on their classwork and homework while also speaking with others in restorative practice circles and learning coping mechanisms to better control their behavior.


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