Update from Prairie Vista

Social & Emotional Support Available for Students & Families

At Penn-Harris-Madison, the safety of your child is our top priority, and this includes both physical and psychological safety. During these challenging times, students may be dealing with a variety of emotions and situations, such as isolation, loneliness, adapting to changes, stress, or feelings of anxiety or sadness. We wanted to take this opportunity to share information with you regarding specific social and emotional supports available to help your student if they are experiencing distress or if you have concerns. We are here to assist families in supporting their children.

If you are concerned and need help for your child, these resources are available:

  1. Contacting the principal, or any other Building Administrator, to discuss services available at school through the Youth Service Bureau

  2. Community mental health resources

  3. Contact P-H-M’s Safe School Helpline®

  4. Parent resources and Talking Points on P-H-M’s website, https://www.phmschools.org/sel

  5. Contacting a crisis prevention and intervention resources

Details on how to reach out and utilize these services are listed in more detail below.

Youth Service Bureau

Penn-Harris-Madison contracts with the Youth Service Bureau to have Youth Development Specialists at the elementary and middle schools in order to provide additional social-emotional supports. Youth Development Specialists work with youth individually, or in small groups to help support students dealing with symptoms of anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns, ADHD, divorce, grief, loss, peer relationships, family conflicts, and suicidal ideation. Students may be referred by a parent, teacher, school administrator, or school counselors. If youth is seen on a regular basis, a parent permission form must be signed. Please contact your building principal or school counselor for more information. You may also reach out to Laurie Ellis, YSB Supervisor at lellis@phm.k12.in.us if you have questions.

Community Resources

There are many counseling and mental health resources available in our community as well. Below are some resources for families to consider at their expense if they feel this is needed.

Safe School Helpline®

The Safe School Helpline® is a 24/7 communication service for parents, students and staff to make reports of safety concerns. There are four Ways to Report to the Safe School Helpline®I. Individuals can make a report about any type of student safety concern (e.g., suicide ideation, bullying student safety, etc.).

Social-Emotional Resources on P-H-M’s Website

Finally, there are resources available on P-H-M’s website on the SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) website found at this link. For your convenience, a few resources that may be of specific interest are linked below.

Crisis Intervention Supports

If your child or a loved one is experiencing significant emotional distress or suicide ideation, please seek help immediately. If you are in crisis, please know there are several resources and services available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

  • 911

  • Emergency Room

  • Michiana Behavioral Health (Website linked here)
    18000 N Oak Dr.-Plymouth, IN

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a ntaional netowrk of local criris centers that provides free and confidential emotion support to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis 24/7. It is free and confidential. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The link to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website is here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/ and includes information about what to expect when you call as well as letting you know you can call no matter the problem with which you are dealing, including if you need someone to lean on for emotional support (e.g., loneliness, relationships, economic worries, depression, mental illness, etc.).

If you are concerned about possible suicide ideation:

  • Take every instance seriously

  • Do NOT leave the person alone

  • Offer help and hope

  • Listen


  • Offer unconditional LOVE & Support

Every student matters and their psychological safety and social-emotional well-being is very important to us. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have concerns or think your child could benefit from social-emotional support, especially during these challenging times.

Dr. Jennifer Sears, P-H-M’s Director of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mental Health