On Monday, October 10, nearly 1,000 high school students from 15 local school districts will gather at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for the 3rd annual Mental Health and Safety Summit. The event, taking place from noon to 7 pm, will train participating teens to serve as Mental Health Ambassadors and support wellness efforts within their schools.
The summit is the brainchild of Marian Armstrong, a school counselor at Parma Senior High School and an adjunct faculty member at CSU’s Levin College of Public Affairs and Education (Levin). Armstrong sought support from key Levin faculty including Dr. Kathy MacCluskie and Dr. Dakota King-White to help implement her vision. “Levin's Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning Department is helping to train the next generation of mental health professionals. Our faculty and students’ involvement in this important event is a win-win for our community as we work to fill existing gaps in mental health services in our region and state,” said Dr. Roland V. Anglin, Dean of the Levin College of Public Affairs and Education
This year’s event would not be possible without the generous support from the Education Service Center of Northeast Ohio, ADAMHS Board, Quest Diagnostics, and the Kevin Love Fund. Goals for the day include building a culture of resilience in area high schools and training students to recognize warning signs when their peers are in crisis. Ambassadors will learn best practices in offering peer support and become the bridge to a caring adult who can refer the student and or their family to professional services. Each student participating in the summit will walk away with new knowledge and resources. Participating schools will identify two staff members to serve as advisors for Mental Health Ambassadors, and their participation will allow them access to the Kevin Love Fund Social Emotional Learning Curriculum.
The event, which is being held in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers, will feature keynote speakers Javier Sanchez (Youth to Youth International) and Stephanie Marquesano (the Harris Project), both of whom are nationally recognized teen mental health advocates. Break-out sessions for Mental Health Ambassadors and advisors will focus on issues such as mental health, suicide awareness, school & personal safety, and self-care. Cleveland State University will provide 40 volunteers represented by University faculty, staff, and students.
The registration fee for students is $10 and for advisors is $20. The registration fee covers the cost of a t-shirt, materials, and a ticket to the Cleveland Cavaliers preseason game which will begin at 7 pm following the summit. Questions can be directed to 216-403-4812.
For more information, please visit the Levin podcast webpage to hear from event organizers as they discuss Teen Mental Health and the upcoming summit in a two part podcast series.