Indian Lake School leaders are continuing their commitment to mental health education for students with the Red Flag Program this week.
Over a three-day period, juniors and seniors in the ILHS College and Career Readiness class are learning the social/emotional curriculum recommended by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Local and national mental health trainers are using the Red Flag Program to help students understand that mental illness is just like a physical illness, despite the societal stigmas attached.
Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services Board of Logan and Champaign Counties representatives and statewide mental health advocates Steve and Deb Terrill helped present information to students concerning symptoms of depression, signs someone is seriously considering suicide and the negative language surrounding mental illness.
“I think they’ll see that it’s OK not to be OK,” the presenters said. “And it’s OK to get help. It’s also OK to help someone else.”
Students discussed mental health issues that many of their favorite celebrities have faced and they watched a video detailing the descent into depression for one student who contemplated suicide before seeking counseling and medication.
Last year, Indian Lake Schools began mental health training with all staff members learning Mental Health First Aid during a winter professional development day. In addition, the entire student body took part in an abbreviated Mental Health First Aid education session in the spring. ILMS and ILHS students also receive mental health training in general health classes.
The Terrills are part of an Ohio Department of Education Advisory Group for Mental Health making recommendations on how schools can introduce mental health in their curriculum.
At this time, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people.