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Charles City Schools staffers receive 'mental health first aid' training

240 staffers participated in all-day training designed to help identify and help students with mental health issues

Posted: Aug 17, 2018 8:15 PM

CHARLES CITY, Iowa - The numbers may surprise you: 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have or will have a serious mental illness according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Staff in the Charles City School District spent their Friday going through training to help them better understand how to help kids who are dealing with these issues.

Cindy Rurup is from the Central Rivers Area Education Agency, and is one of 16 people from across the state training staff members. She is leading a group of teachers and staffers that work with kids from Pre-K to 2nd grade.

"Most of the program is about adolescents. However, you're seeing the signs and symptoms at an earlier age. And they're all about earlier intervention. That's who they are by nature."

She applauds the district for making the time to partake in this important training.

"We are absolutely thrilled that Charles City took this on to bring in this many staff members and this many trainers. That's why we had to pull people from other agencies so that we can have enough trainers here today."

Scotti Hagensick is a counselor for Lincoln Elementary and the Middle School, and works with kids from 3rd to 6th grades. She says the training will help staffers have a conversation between one another and help those in need.

"While we may not be able to change what's going on for our kids, we can certainly have that empathetic support for response and help them when they need it."

And the students she and others work with are her the priority.

"I think mental health is something we have to know about, and it's for the best needs of our students."

The key strategy taught during the training is the "5 Step Action Plan", which can be remembered as the "ALGEE" method. That stands for: Assess for risk of suicide or harm, Listen non-judgementally, Give reassurance and information, Encourage appropriate professional help, and Encourage self-help and other support strategies. Rurup wants staffers to walk away with this in mind.

"Our goal is to help equip them with that 5 step action plan to say, 'I can be that one person who makes a difference. I can be that one person who talks to them about them and lets them know they're not alone and there are some resources out there to help them.'"

About 240 staff members from across the district participated in Friday's training.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 915942

Reported Deaths: 9606
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Hennepin1786832038
Ramsey739711046
Dakota67683587
Anoka64112577
Washington40545359
Stearns33631279
St. Louis29591409
Scott25994186
Wright25957217
Olmsted22339130
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Clay12104105
Blue Earth1147970
Rice11451138
Crow Wing11213123
Chisago995379
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Otter Tail9813127
Benton9033125
Beltrami816997
Goodhue811798
Douglas7875101
Itasca772299
Mower733449
McLeod713084
Winona710258
Isanti700783
Steele685731
Morrison672879
Becker628574
Polk603187
Freeborn561246
Carlton546974
Mille Lacs532479
Lyon528461
Nobles525054
Nicollet522460
Pine515043
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Todd492843
Brown470759
Le Sueur459734
Meeker433458
Martin386544
Wabasha375510
Waseca374333
Dodge361112
Hubbard355249
Roseau316231
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Sibley252317
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Norman10509
Grant101510
Big Stone9485
Lincoln8805
Kittson73223
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Traverse6056
Unassigned545124
Lake of the Woods5265
Cook3071

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 525758

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
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Winneshiek267744
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Floyd261049
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Madison237425
Butler237346
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Iowa234336
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Mills225330
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Shelby199542
Union197141
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Grundy186137
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Mitchell184343
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Louisa178653
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Adair118239
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Taylor100914
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Van Buren95922
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Ringgold78429
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