Houston County Schools hands out mental health first aid kits to students and teachers

Houston County Schools, Project Aware and Mental Health First Aid partnered to make mental health first aid kits for students and teachers to go home with this summer. 
Houston County Schools

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — It’s the last week of school, and it’s also near the end of Mental Health Awareness Month. 

That’s why Houston County Schools, Project Aware and Mental Health First Aid partnered to make mental health first aid kits for students and teachers to go home with this summer. 

Tangela Brice, Project Aware Coordinator for Houston County Schools, says the kits are a way to give students and staff access to resources.

“The mental health first aid kits were a way to start conversations about wellness and resilience and what it means to be well,” she said. “And also to let our students know, and our staff know that we care about them. We care about their whole person.”

Nikki Lytle, the organizer of Mental Health First Aid, says the summer months can be tough for children, so having resources at hand during those times can be helpful. Lytle says people don’t have good foresight until their 20s.

“These are the kids that need us to remind them that we’re here and we love them right now in the moment they’re in,” she said. “Because really, they can’t see past the prom or the football game. They really can’t foresee what their future is going to hold or how amazing it’s going to be.”

Lytle shares what’s in each mental health first aid kit:

“The Kleenex are in it to remind you it’s okay to cry,” she said. “And sometimes you need to be a shoulder to cry on. The motivational cards, everybody has a different one, and then the educational card, and the teachers also got kits, so theirs came in cups.”

Students also got pop-it fidget toys, and teachers got a pen and a notepad. 

The mental health first aid kits aren’t a new concept for Houston County Schools. In December, schools sent kids home with affirmation bracelets to make sure they feel cared for when they’re not in school. 

Brice says the kits are a way to help kids remember they matter.

“During these breaks, it’s just incredibly important to our leadership that we communicate that,” she said. “And our students have something tangible that they can have in their homes that can bring them back to us at the beginning of next year.”

Mental Health First Aid is hoping to expand the kits to more counties.

You can go to the organization’s website for more information on how to sponsor mental health first aid kits in your child’s school district.

Categories: Education, Featured, Health, Health & Fitness, Houston County, Local News, WMGT