On Monday, January 15th, Fort Calhoun Community Schools hosted a Staff Mental Health Day. The goal of the day was for staff to focus on building knowledge, awareness, and acceptance of mental health in order to better meet the needs of the students in Fort Calhoun Community Schools.

The day began with Anita Saalfeld, High School Spanish teacher sharing about her personal journey with mental illness. Following the keynote, staff members attended 6 breakout sessions. Each session allowed FCS staff the opportunity to choose from six presentations in the area of mental health. The session topics included information to use with students, as well as for their own personal mental health. 17 individuals from the field of mental health presented 18 different topics including challenging behaviors, grief, trauma, sleep, nutrition, self-care, anxiety, depression, digital wellness, and sports psychology. 

Sue Miller Harsin therapist from Upper Room Counseling presented a session entitled, Your Body is Talking to You. Sue shared information regarding the importance of self-care including sleep, nutrition, and exercise. There is so much in our lives and in our world that we have no control over. This can cause a sense of despair, exhaustion, depression, and anxiety. We have two amazing resources that are within our control; sleep and nutrition. Focusing on good rest and healthy nutrition can greatly improve our mental health and sense of well-being.” said Miller Harsin.

This event was made possible through NDE grant funding as a part of the School Mental Health Systems of Care Program in collaboration with ESU #3 and Region VI Behavioral Health. https://smhs.esu3.org/

Staff members provided feedback regarding the event. 

“We need to remember as educators to refill our own cup.  Self-care is not selfish, but a vital antidote to compassion fatigue.  Nurturing our well-being ensures we can continue to inspire, guide, and support our students with the passion they deserve.” -Jacque Fischer, 7th-8th grade School Counselor 

“Planning and attending the mental health day put on by our district was an enlightening experience that created shared moments between our staff as well as provided us all with information to better support ourselves and students in multiple areas of mental health.” -Delaney Appel, Elementary Special Education Teacher

Thang Tran from the University of Nebraska Omaha leads his presentation, Navigating A.I. and Mental Health in Schools.

Sue Miller Harsin from Upper Room Counseling presents her sessionYour Body is Talking to You.

Kendall Lanning reads her book entitled The Fox and the Feather to staff during her presentation, Supporting Grief.

Tessa Rutledge, Elementary P.E. Teacher, blows bubbles as a part of a deep breathing exercise during FCS Staff Mental Health Day.