Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Social-Emotional Learning
& Mental Health Conversation

The safety and wellbeing of our students is important to us. One of the ways that we help support students is by partnering with community organizations who specialize in different components of health and wellness. We are pleased to partner with Gryphon Place to bring the Gatekeeper Program to our students. This program provides the opportunity to learn life-saving skills while increasing knowledge of mental health and managing life challenges.  The Gatekeeper Program, provided by Gryphon Place, was presented to the seventh graders on January 13-15.

The Gryphon Place Gatekeeper Program is a nationally reviewed and recognized Best Practice Registry-designated school-based Youth Suicide Prevention Education Program designated by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.  

The primary goal of the Gatekeeper Program is to increase the likelihood that young people, who are often the first to know when a friend has a problem, know how to respond to and get help for a friend or peer in crisis.  The Gatekeeper Program provides education about mental health, stress, and coping skills in a manner that reduces stigma and encourages help-seeking behaviors, in addition to promoting the development of healthy coping and communication skills.  Students learned what a crisis looks like (warning signs of suicide), how to react, and how to get help for someone in crisis (refer to a trusted adult).  

The Gatekeeper program gives students tools to help them make safe, healthy choices, and helps them identify personal resources that they can turn to when they or someone they know needs help.  It can be difficult at any age to know how to handle a crisis, and this is one important opportunity to learn these crucial life skills. Students learn that they need to tell an adult if someone is showing signs of suicide or mental illness, and they learn that there is help, and hope, available.   Students also learned about some of the resources available to the community, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK.

Thoughts from a few seventh graders:

“I think that Gatekeepers was a great experience for our class because a lot of kids knew what it was like to experience some anxiety and stress and knowing that everyone goes through it really helped. Some of my friends and I thought it was a really good thing for kids our age to talk about it so we can know what to do if we are ever in crisis.” 

“For me, Gatekeepers was an amazing experience. I learned so much about mental health, coping skills, suicide loss survivors, and how to help a friend through suicidal thoughts and or actions. Not only this, but Gatekeepers made me consider more jobs in that field. I realized that I want to help people overcome horrible times in their lives. I think everyone should hear about Gatekeepers because my presenter was really understanding and she made sure we understood everything. I’m very glad everyone in my class knows how serious this is, and I’m really glad they came to our school!” 

“Gatekeepers is really interesting because you get to learn how to protect people if they are depressed or suicidal.”

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