Alyssa Steele and Alexa Manley, Clinicians

A key role as a school-based mental health clinician is prevention education. The purpose of prevention education is to proactively approach issues, rather than addressing them after they have already occurred. Developing resiliency is an important part of prevention because it equips students with the tools and skills they need to navigate life’s challenges.

Resiliency is the ability to “bounce back” after something difficult happens. This means not getting stuck in a problem, but rather utilizing problem solving skills to handle whatever you are facing. Children who are resilient are able to recover from setbacks more quickly, and in turn feel empowered and more confident when dealing with future challenges. Resiliency is a skill that can be developed over time and with experience. Elementary Path clinicians, Alyssa and Alexa, recognized the importance of building resiliency in youth, and therefore created the Resilient Ramblers program.

The Resilient Ramblers program was designed for all 4th graders in the Carteret Elementary Schools, with the purpose of building resilience and preparing students for middle school. The program began in November 2022 and ended in June 2023. Every other month, one of the Clinicians from The Path would present a 25 to 30 minute class lesson to each 4th grade classroom. Topics in the program included; identifying emotions, coping skills, problem-solving, self-esteem, and support systems. Every lesson included education on each topic as well as a game or activity. Over the course of the school year, Path clinicians provided 60 classroom lessons, and reached over 280 students. At the end of the program, each student received a coping kit filled with different things to serve as a reminder of what they learned in the program. Students also watched a video where they were introduced to Carteret Middle School Path clinicians, Lisa and Jesenia, as a way to expand their support system as they enter a new school. Throughout this year and program, students have been able to develop and learn resilience. Resilience is an important skill for youth to have especially as they enter into adolescence and begin facing new challenges. Path clinicians look forward to continuing the Resilient Ramblers Program with the upcoming fourth grade students.

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