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State funds will help Marshfield students improve mental health

Following the emotional roller coaster of COVID-19, students' emotional wellbeing has become an even greater priority for educators. To address this increased need, the state is sending $100,000 to Marshfield school to design and implement additional mental health education and awareness programs. 

A conversation between State Sen. Patrick O'Connor and School Committee Chair Lara Brait led the senator to file a budget amendment for this purpose. 

"We discussed the lack of adequate supports for adolescent mental health awareness and resources across the state," O'Connor said. "With this money, Marshfield will be able to implement comprehensive programs and supports for educators, students, and families. The past year has highlighted just how critical social and emotional health is for students’ wellbeing and academic success." 

Brait said as a parent, a school committee member and an active community participant, she sees just how different being a child today is than when she was younger - making the need for better resources and programming clear.

"People need more support," Brait said. "It's not just about support with academics, kids and teachers spend a ton of time in that environment, it's their whole life, and I wanted to be sure that Marshfield was a comfortable, safe environment for the kids who go to school here and the teachers who go to work here."

Marshfield will use the money to partner with Effective School Solutions, an organization focused on connecting families with resources already available and identifying areas in need of additional help. 

"There isn't enough awareness around resources, and what good is a resource if you don't know that it's there?" Brait said. "We have to find a way to connect with kids, and I just don't think we're doing a good enough job. This funding will assist in doing that."

Two clinicians, non-school district employees, will also be working within the schools, providing an extra layer of help for students and teachers who need assistance. These clinicians will be able to do outreach to families in the community in a way district employees would not be able to. 

Brait said an oft-mentioned goal among school committee members is to make sure all students have at least one caring adult in school that they can count on - a goal she hopes to get closer to achieving with this new programming. 


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