By Natalie Maruschak
Lee’s Summit CARES and Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is celebrating the success of their first Mental Health and Wellness Week. The past five days have been filled with fun activities and lessons for students to focus on self-care especially when facing stressful situations.
“Meditation Monday”, “Talk About It Tuesday”, “Walk It Out Wednesday”, “Thriving Thursday”, and “Fun Friday” provided kids with tools and knowledge to help them thrive. From equipping students with relaxation apps on their phones, to encouraging them to speak up about troubles in their lives, the organization of the week-long effort was all about bringing attention to stress management.
It was just recently that Lee’s Summit CARES expanded their prevention programs to focus on the Mental Health realm in this way. Their goal is to equip, not only individuals, but families, schools, and the local community with ways to identify high levels of stress in others and to help prevent tragedies such as suicide.
“This pilot program is new and innovative in Lee’s Summit,” director Rachel Nelson-Segobia states, “and we could not have created it without funding from Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation.”
The Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation recently awarded Lee’s Summit CARES with an $8,000 grant. The grant not only helped this organization put on the Mental Health and Wellness Week, but it has also assisted in the birth of their new program. This program is now offering 6-week long courses that will go more in-depth with helping students dealing with stress and anxiety.
According to Nelson-Segobia, the goal is to provide the students of Lee’s Summit with mental health programs similar to employees in the workplace are given access to. “Young people typically do not have access to such resources. Lee’s Summit CARES strives to fill that gap in services by providing education on Mental Well-Being to youth serving organizations.”
The Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation provides health-focused grants to nonprofits in the Lee’s Summit community. Grant applications are due by October 31st each year. For more info and access to the application, visit www.HealthyLeesSummit.org.