School mental health program expands to Detroit

January 3, 2020
Contact: Greta Guest gguest@umich.edu

TRAILS TRANSCRIPT
7/30/19

NEARLY
60%
OF ADOLESCENTS
WILL EXPERIENCE
MENTAL ILLNESS

INCLUDING
DEPRESSION,
ANXIETY,
OR
PTSD

Eve Shikanov
High School Student
Community High School, Ann Arbor
Some people have a therapist that they go to regularly, but not everyone has that.

THE U-M DEPRESSION CENTER
CREATED TWO
OUTREACH PROGRAMS

TO IMPROVE
MENTAL HEALTH
SUPPORT FOR
THOUSANDS OF
MICHIGAN ADOLESCENTS

[TIM LOGO/STATE]

70% OF ADOLESCENTS
SAY THAT
MENTAL HEALTH
IS A MAJOR PROBLEM
AMONGST PEERS

MAYA WHITLEY
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
CHARLEVOIX MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL

A lot of students suffer from anxiety and depression, and I think it needs to be more
recognized that you aren’t alone.

AS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR,
KARRIE GAFFNEY
HAS SEEN STUDENTS STRUGGLE
TO ACCESS THE
MENTAL HEALTH CARE
THEY NEED

KARRIE GAFFNEY
HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR
CHARLEVOIX MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL
[not shown onscreen until about “who’s gonna pick them up”]
Oftentimes in our area, to make an appointment with a counselor could take months. And who’s gonna pick them up? How are they gonna pay for it? They give up. There’s just a lot of barriers.

COACHING AND RESOURCES
PROVIDED BY THE
U-M DEPRESSION CENTER’S
TRAILS PROGRAM

HELP KARRIE
SUPPORT ADOLESCENTS
AND
TEACH EFFECTIVE
COPING SKILLS
AT HER SCHOOL

ELIZABETH KOSCHMANN
TRAILS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN DEPRESSION CENTER
[not shown onscreen until about “we offer resources…”]
We provide training for our school professionals, we offer resources and materials to support them in their work, and we link them with a TRAILS coach, who can assist them in practicing and refining their skills that we’ve taught in our training.

Karrie Gaffney
This is a win-win from U–M. I thought “How can I not be a part of this to educate kids?” Everything’s laid out really clearly in the lessons. We focus on relaxation, educating them about anxiety and depression, coping skills.

Maya
We’ve learned how to recognize when you are having symptoms of depression and anxiety and how to combat that.

TASHINA SANTURE
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
CHARLEVOIX MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL

Tashina [not shown onscreen until about “able to talk to my parents…”]
I was going through some problems with myself. I wasn’t able to talk to my parents or my friends because I was scared, like, what are they gonna think? I’ve been able to open up and take care of myself more.

THE TRAILS PROGRAM
NOW HAS COACHES IN
74%
OF MICHIGAN’S COUNTIES

MANY ADOLESCENTS ALSO
SEE A NEED TO BE
MENTAL HEALTH
ADVOCATES
THEMSELVES

Eve
To have someone that you know and you recognize you could come up to and go “Hey, I’m having difficulty with this,” I feel like that’s really important.

ALMOST 300 STUDENTS
IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN
PARTICIPATE IN THE
U-M DEPRESSION CENTER’S
PEER-TO-PEER
PROGRAM

ROBBIE STAPLETON
HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL, ANN ARBOR
Students who are in the Peer-to-Peer group go to a couple of conferences a year. They learn about mental health and mental illness, they come back, and they plan a campaign.

MEGHANA TUMMALA
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL, ANN ARBOR
I think it’s important that when you’re struggling, you know that point when you’re like “I need to go ask for help.”

WILL TURNBULL
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL, ANN ARBOR
If you need the right support, we can find you a person to talk to.

THOMAS DUDA CORTES
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL, ANN ARBOR
It should be something that people try and help others with so that we can grow as a community.

Robbie
The thing that makes it really credible is it’s a U–M program, and the results show that it has increased awareness, it’s reduced stigma, and it has increased help-seeking when it’s needed.

What’s really cool is they’ve created a manual, available to anybody, on how to do it.

OVER
130 SCHOOLS
IN MICHIGAN
HAVE TRAILS, PEER-TO-PEER,
OR BOTH PROGRAMS

WITH MORE PARTICIPATING
EVERY YEAR

Tashina
I know it’s helped me a lot, it’s helped my friends a lot, and it’s helped my family a lot, so to have other schools do that, it’d be really helpful for people who are going through it now.

DETROIT—Detroit public school students will soon have access to new services to help them effectively manage symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

Detroit Public Schools Community District has partnered with a University of Michigan program called TRAILS, or Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students, to bring mental health resources to all 110 public schools reaching the city’s 50,000 students and 4,000 staff as part of a $3 million expansion over the next three years.

Gaffney and her students. Image credit: Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography

Gaffney and her students. Image credit: Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography

TRAILS began working with Ann Arbor Public Schools in 2013, and has trained more than 400 school mental health professionals in 64 counties, impacting an estimated 3,000 students across Michigan by decreasing their symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The program’s track record spoke to officials in the Detroit district, which identified student mental health as a key priority in its Blueprint 2020. It expects the partnership with TRAILS to help improve social and academic outcomes across all grade levels.

“Unfortunately, federal and state education funding does not take into account that our schools and their employees must overcome the daily socioemotional challenges our children face every day. This means we cannot simply focus on teaching and learning,” said Detroit School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.

“This partnership and associated funding starts the process of building an integrated system of support and care for students where we properly apply real time screenings, intervention and support on school campuses to our families and students.”

The program provides training to school staff on two evidence-based mental health approaches—cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness—and then pairs each school with a local mental health provider who has been trained as a TRAILS coach.

School staff and their coaches then facilitate 10-session student skills groups, where  students will learn effective coping strategies to manage symptoms and maintain wellness. Coaching ensures that staff can sustain their work with students long term.

TRAILS now has coaches in 74% of Michigan’s 83 counties. Image credit: Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography

TRAILS now has coaches in 74% of Michigan’s 83 counties. Image credit: Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography

Elizabeth Koschmann, TRAILS program director, said that the work began last year with data collection from 4,000 Detroit district staff and more than 10,000 students. That data will be the basis of programming recommendations that her team will provide to the district this winter.

“The survey of the Detroit district went extraordinarily well, in large part because the district was an incredible partner, investing heavily in the process,” Koschmann said. “We are grateful to partner with the district to reach students affected by a wide range of stressors from academic pressure to far more complex hurdles, such as food and housing insecurity, and exposure to violence, abuse or neglect.”

TRAILS staff and their colleagues at the U-M Youth Policy Lab will help the district implement and evaluate mental health programming spanning three levels of service: 1) universal education and stigma reduction; 2) early intervention; and 3) crisis response and risk management. Programming will roll out in roughly 30 schools a year through 2022.

Funding for the Detroit program expansion is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Prosper Road Foundation, and several other generous sponsors.

Joan Evans, director of the Prosper Road Foundation in Chicago, grew up in metro Detroit and her grandparents and parents grew up in Detroit (her parents attended Mumford). She supported TRAILS from its launch because it helps to build equity for school children throughout the state who lack adequate access to mental health tools.

“TRAILS has developed materials and a website to support all of their work, making it easy and accessible for school staff,” said Evans, a former school psychologist. “In a fast-paced environment, a counselor or school social worker can pull a resource from the site and share it with students, and results are seen pretty quickly. It gives them this tool in their toolbox that works.

“You can’t expect kids to perform well academically and to thrive, unless you focus on their mental health first. Leaders in the city and school district understood the need for it, and I’m thrilled they felt ready to partner with TRAILS.”

Other sponsors for the program include: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit Medical Center Foundation, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Metro Health Foundation, Michael and Betsy Mackey Family, National Institute of Mental Health,  The Children’s Foundation, The Jewish Fund, U.S. Department of Education, U-M Department of Psychiatry, and U-M Depression Center.

 

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