Wellness Wednesdays offers mental health resources for Lee County students, parents

Published: November 3, 2021 6:22 AM EDT
Updated: December 16, 2021 8:57 AM EST
A discussion group of Lee County students. Credit: WINK News

Starting Wednesday, the School District of Lee County is continuing its Wellness Wednesdays program, offering mental health resources for students and parents that may help prevent violence at schools.

This is about identifying risks and taking action, because in 81% of school attacks, someone knew what the attacker was planning. The District believes students need a way to connect, which is why the Lee County School Board created Wellness Wednesdays, which will offer support to students and parents facing emotional difficulties.

Chantel Rhodes, a mental health navigator at Golisano’s, believes this is an important opportunity to make a difference.

“I see it as an opportunity for us to respond to a crisis that is much deeper,” Rhodes said. “When we look at bullying, when we look at why students are even tempted to make these threats or to why students have this on their mind instead of just being kids.”

Lee County residents told WINK News how important it is to prioritize kids’ mental health.

“Mental health is a very serious issue,” said Kevin Morris, who works in downtown Fort Myers. “And, in schools, it has to be done correctly, because you got to understand these types of issues span throughout a person’s life. So, if you start them off right, they end up right.”

There are resources for parents, too: Starting Thursday, Lee County schools are going to offer a series of threat assessment programs, which will talk about warning signs and what parents and the community can do to help support our students and keep them safe.