Madison Middle School peer groups addressing mental health

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 4:35 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -The documentary featuring the North Platte Public School district, The Mind Inside, illustrates how the district is addressing mental health in their schools. One middle school is taking its own approach by implementing peer sessions covering topics such as leadership, study skills, conflict management, anxiety and self-confidence.

Sixth graders at Madison Middle school are able to join peer groups based on their personal needs.

“There is a lot of research that supports groups in the school system,” said Madison Middle School Counselor Tami Smith. “It gives kids an avenue to learn some skills that they might be missing, but it also allows kids to come together and realize they aren’t alone in feeling the way they are feeling.”

The different groups address challenges 6th-grade students are facing as many various things are occurring in their lives.

“Cognitively and physically they are changing,” said Smith. “They are growing up and having to be more independent. While their expectations are having to increase a lot. There is a lot of transitioning in this time period which can be really rough for kids.”

Students are asked to fill out a survey at the beginning of school and again after Christmas. The survey asked students about their goals, personal challenges and if they would like to participate in peer groups. Parents are then notified about their child’s interests and required to fill out a form.

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