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New Peer Group Collaborating on Initiatives for Mental Health Awareness at Skaneateles CSD

The school year may be winding down, but a group of Skaneateles students are just beginning an important task: creating an open dialogue about mental health.

Advised by the Office of Student Support Services, the group is Skaneateles’ own version of Morgan’s Message, an organization that strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community. The Skaneateles group is comprised of student-athletes in grades eight through 11 who are passionate about increasing mental health awareness in the school community. Although the students in the group are student-athletes, they are determined to create a safe space where all Skaneateles students can discuss mental health.

The group has met two times this year. At the start of each meeting, each attendee says one word to describe how they are feeling. In a recent meeting, some of the feelings shared were: “supportive,” “hopeful,” and “understanding.” The rest of the meeting is dedicated to sharing ideas for the rest of the year and for the following year. Some ideas included:
  • Eating lunch with other students to limit feelings of exclusion or isolation
  • Holding weekly mental check-ins after school
  • Conducting conversation starters during first period
“We don’t talk about these things every day, but we want to be able to,” Kristin Moses, Coordinator of Student Support Services & Family Engagement, said to the group at a recent meeting. “I’m excited to work with all of you because you’re going to change the world.”

Moses and the group are currently looking into mental health training for all Skaneateles students. The training would ensure that all students can identify potential warning signs and check-in signals or phrases.

Students are hopeful that these initiatives will motivate all Skaneateles students to open up about their feelings.

A group of students sit around a table and discuss initiatives for mental health awareness

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Eric Knuth
45 East Elizabeth Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152