Mental health training underway for camp counselors across NH


The state launched the Rekindling Curiosity program to help make summer camp more affordable, but leaders also wanted to make sure kids had more support as they transition between phases in the pandemic.Now, they’re training camp counselors to be that lifeline.Before kids make a splash at camp this summer, counselors are working hard to make sure they have the support to keep their minds healthy. “We had created a program where they would actually train camp counselors to be aware of and to be able to recognize mental health struggles a student of child might be having,” said Frank Edelblut, New Hampshire Department of Education commissioner.Edelblut said staff from 10 mental health centers across New Hampshire are working with camps in the community. “The 10 community mental health centers become more present in their communities by having this relationship with the camps when were thinking about families, and families with young children that might be facing a diagnosis for the first time or might be starting to recognize the signs and symptoms of their child struggling,” Edelblut said. “It can be really hard to figure out where they start.”The funding comes from federal COVID-19 relief money.Training is already underway. Jodie Lubarsky from Seacoast Mental Health Center Inc. said it’s been helpful.“Signs and symptoms, being really clear that the intent was not to train them to be a mental health interventionist but really give them foundational skills to be aware of, behaviors how those behaviors might manifest in young children and when it would be appropriate for them to reach out to their camp staff or camp directors to get additional support,” Lubarsky said. Jeanna Still of Greater Manchester Community Health said the program helps build a bridge between mental health resources and the community.“The camps do have our folks on site, and they do have somebody to lean on and they know where to go to,” Still said. “They know they can say ‘OK there’s somebody here from the mental health center. I can ask them how do I get an intake, how do I refer a family, how do I get this family get what they may need.’”Still said they’ve already been able to provide eight camps with training. Parents can reach out to their child’s camp to find out if they’re participating in the training.

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The state launched the Rekindling Curiosity program to help make summer camp more affordable, but leaders also wanted to make sure kids had more support as they transition between phases in the pandemic.

Now, they’re training camp counselors to be that lifeline.

Before kids make a splash at camp this summer, counselors are working hard to make sure they have the support to keep their minds healthy.

“We had created a program where they would actually train camp counselors to be aware of and to be able to recognize mental health struggles a student of child might be having,” said Frank Edelblut, New Hampshire Department of Education commissioner.

Edelblut said staff from 10 mental health centers across New Hampshire are working with camps in the community.

“The 10 community mental health centers become more present in their communities by having this relationship with the camps when were thinking about families, and families with young children that might be facing a diagnosis for the first time or might be starting to recognize the signs and symptoms of their child struggling,” Edelblut said. “It can be really hard to figure out where they start.”

The funding comes from federal COVID-19 relief money.

Training is already underway. Jodie Lubarsky from Seacoast Mental Health Center Inc. said it’s been helpful.

“Signs and symptoms, being really clear that the intent was not to train them to be a mental health interventionist but really give them foundational skills to be aware of, behaviors how those behaviors might manifest in young children and when it would be appropriate for them to reach out to their camp staff or camp directors to get additional support,” Lubarsky said.

Jeanna Still of Greater Manchester Community Health said the program helps build a bridge between mental health resources and the community.

“The camps do have our folks on site, and they do have somebody to lean on and they know where to go to,” Still said. “They know they can say ‘OK there’s somebody here from the mental health center. I can ask them how do I get an intake, how do I refer a family, how do I get this family get what they may need.’”

Still said they’ve already been able to provide eight camps with training.

Parents can reach out to their child’s camp to find out if they’re participating in the training.



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