In an effort to provide students and families with support during the coronavirus pandemic (and beyond), the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) has partnered with local mental health proessionals to offer services to students and families in need. A comprehensive outreach and counseling mental health plan is being rolled out in the two school districts.
A significant part of this plan involves an awareness campaign, which includes the appearnce of mental health professionals on the VIDE's Saturday morning radio shows on Da Vybe, 107.9 FM, to discuss various targeted topics designed to help young people cope with life during the age of COVID-19. Beginning April 25 and for a duration of six weeks, PSAs will air on 107.9 FM, 103.5 FM, Isle 95, Rumba 98.3 FM, and Sunny 99.5 FM. The campaign will also feature the release of posters (see below) and videos to engage audiences on social media. On April 25, professionals from DVSAC were invited to talk on the topic, "Limit TV & Social Media."
As part of the awareness campaign, a series of short PSAs will also run on local radio stations that will highlight the specific topic discussed on-air each Saturday. Each PSA will contain tips on managing stress, anxiety and other relavant topics, and will also include contact information for students/families requiring additional support.
VIDE school counselors, under the direction of Mrs. Rhona Pinney-Simon in the STTJ District and Ms. Rena Francis in the St. Croix District, are an integral part of the Department's Mental Health & Wellness work. You can expect to hear their voices on the radio PSAs each week, and they will continue to provide specialized counseling services to families. Mrs. Sheryl Serano-Griffith, Special Education director in the St. Croix District, has worked closely with the VIDE's Attorney Cynthia Moore and Chief of Staff Felecia Blyden to bring this plan to fruition.
Check back each week for new tips on how to manage your mental health during COVID-19 and beyond.