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'Umbrella Project' to provide mental health training for 700 Kentucky educators

Daviess County Public Schools

Mental health experts and educators report increasing anxiety and behavior issuesamong children and teenagers over the past several years.

Daviess County Public Schools is hosting the 'Umbrella Project,' a mental health summit for educators on Aug. 2.

The stress and isolation of the pandemic increased mental health issues among
students across the nation. But Daviess County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Human Services, Amy Shutt says planning for the Umbrella Project started four years ago, and the first conference last year attracted 500 educators.

“We are seeing a larger number of students that are exhibiting behaviors of anxiety and depression," Shutt said. "Is it happening more or are we becoming a society where it’s more acceptable to talk about it?

“I will tell you that just in our schools we are seeing those behaviors be more prevalent than they’ve ever been before."

In addition to breakout sessions focusing on strategies to help students deal with mental health issues, some of the workshops will focus on wellness for educators.

There are a few spots open until the registration deadline on Friday, July 15, or earlier if the maximum capacity of 700 is reached.

The summit is open to anyone who interacts with students, including administrators, teachers, social workers, instructional assistants and school secretaries.

So far, school employees from 25 districts across Kentucky have registered.