March 5, 2020 Academics

Local students participate in national ‘Teen Mental Health First Aid’ program

Mental Health First Aid Graphic from the Born this Way Foundation

Some local high school students will have the chance to help their peers recognize mental illness, and help those that are suffering.

Sophomore at Sioux City West High School will take part in “Teen Mental Health First Aid.”

West High School is one of 35 nationwide to get the program that is part of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Foundation.” The peer-to-peer program teaches kids how to recognize mental illness, and how to to help those suffering from it.

West High’s principal says meeting all student needs – including mental health – is an important measure.

“I see so much, our goals, our achievement, and helping our students be successful students academically, but unless they are equipped with having all of their needs met, social and emotional, to be able to be productive students in the classroom is going to be something we have to partner with those other areas of their needs so they can be the best they can possibly be and succeed in life,” said Assistant Principal Rebecca Rieken.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will also be surveying the students participating.

While the program is optional, officials say the more students participate, the more information they will have to launch across the country.

View the full article by Brett Funke on KTIV.