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Daviess County Schools Host Mental Mental Health Summit

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As Kentucky students prepare to return to in-person classes after the past year’s turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a western Kentucky school district is hosting a mental health summit for educators on Aug. 3.

Daviess County Public Schools started planning for the summit in March 2020, just before the pandemic changed everyone’s plans.

Now, with the added stress caused by the pandemic, 500 educators from across Kentucky will attend the “Rise Up for Resilience” mental health summit at the Owensboro Convention Center. 

Assistant Superintendent for Human Services Amy Shutt said the school district increased its focus on mental health four years ago when staff started seeing a rise in behavior issues, as well as anxiety and depression, among students. Shutt said the stress of the pandemic has made that focus even more necessary. 

“I think it could not be a more perfect time. I think educators are thirsty for new ways to meet the needs of students," said Shutt.  "We know that the needs of our kids when they come back are going to be greater than they’ve ever been before. Or they’re going to be different than we’ve ever seen before, because of what we’ve been through for over a year now.”

The mental health summit will offer innovative strategies for dealing with a variety of concerns.

“We know that we need to meet the needs of the whole child so that they’re ready to learn every single day," said Shutt. "Daviess County has made a commitment to the mental health of our staff and our students. We’ve recently just hired seven new mental health therapists and created an entire mental health team.” 
National, state and regional experts speaking at the summit will cover topics including diversity, anxiety, trauma, anger, violence, and suicide, as well as self-care for educators.

The summit is not open to the public.

   

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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