The PEP students in Mr. Welch's Psych 101 class at Murrieta Mesa HS have begun their teen suicide prevention training as part of the Be A Link Campaign (#BeALink). The training is conducted by the Riverside County Department of Public Health and promotes positive youth development by helping students bring more awareness to the issue, and act as a peer resource for teens seeking mental health services. The goal is to use campaigns like Be A Link to increase awareness and reduce teen injuries and fatalities from suicide attempts. Part of this initial training included resiliency building. The students used "improv" to act out what they had learned. The exercise proved helpful and the kids got into it.
The students have already begun planning the lunch-hour activities they will be facilitating as part of the January campaign. They've come up with some original ideas like filling balloons with positive written messages and writing negative messages on the outside. When someone pops a negative message (a balloon), the positive message falls out, which they can keep. We are so proud of the more than 100 students who are participating in this important program!