PGCPS Mental Health Monthly

Updates from Counseling, Psychological Services, and YFCP

Welcome to the Mental Health Newsletter!

Throughout Prince George's County Public Schools mental health professionals are doing incredible things to support student and staff mental health. The goal of this newsletter is to showcase these efforts in addition to providing a space for important updates, events, and ideas.

Have something to share for next month's newsletter? Enter your submission via this link by March 24th, 2023

March is Self-Harm Awareness Month

Self-Harm, or Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), refers to “intentional, self-effected, low lethality bodily harm of a socially unacceptable nature, performed to reduce and/or communicate psychological distress". It is most commonly considered a coping device to manage overwhelming emotions and psychological distress without suicidal intent. While self-injury is usually used as a way to cope with life, rather than to end it, people who self-injure are at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

See the handout below for additional information and recommendations regarding supporting students who self-harm. Additionally, has many resources for working with students who self-harm.

Research indicates that a majority of self-injury acts are impulsive. Therefore, one recommendation is encouraging students to use "The 15- minute rule"

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Also, remember the PGCPS Administrative Procedure on Crisis Response and Suicide Intervention in addition to the Crisis Reference Guide
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Berwyn Heights Elementary School

Each month we will highlight a school mental health team's efforts to support student and staff well-being. There might be some ideas you can use incorporate into your own schools and teams. Berwyn Heights Elementary School's mental health team worked together to support the following efforts so far this school year:

  • 6-week group for 5th grade girls to help cultivate friendships - group led by Rivka Schwartz (school psychologist) and Nowela Muller (mental health clinician) following a needs assessment conducted by Caroline Green (school counselor) - love the teamwork! Topics included self-esteem, characteristics of good friends, building rapport, communication, and dealing with peer pressure. A follow-up survey indicated that students found the group to be extremely helpful
  • Positive Parenting Night
  • Social Media Safety Night
  • Ms. Green's Virtual Calming Corner Website

Thank you for all your dedication and efforts, BHES team!

International High School of Largo - Boys 2 Men Group

Carlos Cortes, the mental health clinician for the International High School of Largo, facilitated a group to allow young men to gather in a therapeutic setting to learn about respect, leadership, expressing themselves in a healthy manner, speaking about anger, relationships with their parents, relationships with themselves, and how to respect their significant others. Carlos shared that "this group allowed the boys the get to know one another and build a brotherhood. I have witnessed these young men outside of the group hanging out, talking in the hallway, and creating a tighter bond with one another. I thought it was extremely important to teach these young men how to tie a tie for our last session because the majority of these young men play the role of 'the man of the house' and don't have a father figure in their life to help them learn." Looking sharp! Thank you, Carlos!
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Black History Month Mental Health Pioneers

During Black History Month we commemorate African American history and achievement. The video below highlights Dr. Albert Sidney Beckham, who was the African American to hold the title of school psychologist. He also opened Howard University's first psychology lab. Beckham was just one of several African American researchers testing African American intelligence, in order to provide evidence against claims made by racist propaganda.
Black History Month Mental Health Pioneers - Dr. Albert Sidney Beckham

PGCPS Mental Health Updates