It was our pleasure on October 27th and 28th to visit Heritage Hall Middle School. We had the rare treat of presenting seven HELP presentations simultaneously to seventh and eighth graders on the 27th and awarding Heritage Hall Middle School with the Audrey Hatley Award on the 28th. Heritage Hall received the award for incorporating HeartLine’s HELP initiative into its seventh and eighth grade curriculum last year. See the link for a gallery of photographs from the presentation.
A History of the Audrey Hatley Award
Each year, HeartLine recognizes a school that has placed special emphasis on health and safety education. Recipients incorporate any of a number of public safety initiatives, such as suicide prevention and awareness, mental health education, depression screenings, substance abuse awareness, and school violence awareness, into their overall curriculum. The award is named for Audrey Hatley, a fourteen-year-old girl who took her own life. Audrey Hatley’s story is a reminder of the importance of understanding and taking action on the warning signs of depression and suicide.
HELP–the Healthy Education for Life Program
HELP, HeartLine’s Healthy Education for Life Program, provides free, interactive training to increase awareness and empower students to prevent bullying and suicide among peers. Since its inception in 1997, HELP has reached over 41,000 students in the Oklahoma City metro area with its in-class presentations and seminars. HELP learning opportunities focus on dispelling the negative stigma of getting help for mental illness and suicidal tendencies, understanding the warning signs of suicide in peers, and learning how to take action so that at-risk students are identified and receive the help they need. ASK-LISTEN-TELL is the cornerstone of HELP and is a simple and easily remembered model that students can employ if they suspect a peer is depressed or suicidal.
In 2008, HeartLine’s HELP initiative was recognized by the American Association of Suicidology Best Practices Registry for suicide prevention. The initiative includes a 20-minute video, role playing activities, an interactive story board activity, and the cornerstone of HELP: the Ask-Listen-Tell model. HELP presentations also include a brief evaluation in which students have the opportunity to self identify as being at risk for depression or suicide.
For more information about HeartLine’s HELP initiative, please contact Lisa Harper, Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 405.840.9396 x114.
HeartLine’s Healthy Education for Life Program has a new look and feel! After countless hours of preparation and research, HeartLine’s Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach, Lisa Harper, has rolled out the new suicide prevention program materials just in time for fall. The program redesign is much more interactive than its predecessor and includes a new video featuring several stories of those affected by suicide. The new version of HELP has already been introduced in several area schools and will be presented throughout the fall by HeartLine volunteers.
Interested in assisting HeartLine in its suicide prevention efforts? Here are two main ways you can help:
1. Set up a meeting between your local school principal or counselor and HeartLine. Contact HeartLine’s Director of Suicide Prevention & Outreach Programs, Lisa Harper, to arrange a meeting. In this meeting, Lisa will outline the program and help determine how best to get its information into the hands of your students. To contact Lisa Harper, email email@example.com or call 405-840-9396 x114.
2. Become a volunteer presenter of HELP presentations in middle schools and high schools. HeartLine is seeking volunteer presenters and have a training session scheduled for Saturday, November 5th. In this six hour session from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., volunteer presenters will learn the basic structure of HELP and will be trained in how to present the information and conduct the interactive activities that make up the curriculum. Here’s a quick rundown of the requirements for a volunteer trainer:
- attend the 6-hour training session
- commit to a minimum of 20 volunteer hours per year
- work within a flexible volunteer schedule that is mostly made up of daytime presentations
We leave you with the new HELP video preview. The video is used in every HELP presentation and is about 20 minutes long, but this 90-second preview will at least give you a sense of the overall style. All the people featured are telling their own stories. We invite you to help spread the message of suicide prevention by getting us connected with a school or becoming a volunteer presenter. Thanks in advance!
Today we present our second piece for the week on mental health. This blog post is from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and calls attention to the importance of mental health screening and follow-up care for teens.