Lenape district joins ‘stigma-free’ initiative

Schools join county in supporting mental-health care

The Lenape Regional High School District conducted a regular agenda meeting on March 23, a session that highlighted newly approved programs and the district’s participation in the Burlington County “stigma-free” initiative on mental health. 

Superintendent Dr. Carol L. Birnbohm shared a resolution that would designate the  district as “stigma-free.” Like the county already has, the initiative establishes the district as a place where residents can find help for mental-health issues without the negativity often associated with such treatment.

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“I’ve had the pleasure of helping to lead a committee of superintendents who are partnering with county officials to help reduce the stigma of getting mental-health support,” Birnbohm said. “And even before the pandemic, as educators we have become acutely aware of the increase (in the) number of students who suffer with a variety of mental-health issues.” 

Birnbohm stressed the importance of student awareness on the subject.

“And we see that these issues, if they go untreated, that they play out in behavioral problems in our students,” she noted “And this is not just a local problem; it’s a national problem that has grown tremendously since March 2020.” 

Board President Steve H. Lee also addressed the topic.

“I’m glad our district is doing something about it,” he said “Let this be out there:    ‘stigma-free’ zone.”

The district also approved a partnership with Care Solace to provide mental-health support with the latter’s navigation system, which uses proprietary technology and a vast database of behavioral- and mental-health resources to find therapists and programs for individuals, according to the district website. 

 In other news, the district introduced two new varsity sports, boys volleyball and coed Esports (short for electronic competition), for the 2022-’23 school year. The district will use pandemic-related federal grants to fund them, and it now joins Tabernacle Township public schools in providing Esports opportunities for students. 

For Care Solace information, visit https://www.lrhsd.org/CareSolace. For more information about the Lenape district, visit https://www.lrhsd.org/lenape

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