Dear McCallum Parent/Guardian:

High school students navigate a difficult stage of social and emotional development while also confronting increased academic pressures and responsibilities. Meanwhile, over half of lifetime mental illness emerges during the teen years, and early intervention can make a lifetime of difference. Connecting youth to a supportive adult – whether in school or in the community – can mean the difference between getting help and spiraling negative consequences that may include reduced attendance, lower academic performance, increased violence and higher rates of substance abuse.

A new interactive, online simulation, Friend2Friend, is being made available to students at McCallum at no cost through an Austin Ed Fund Grant that we requested and received. Friend2Friend introduces the concept of mental health and strategies for improving mental wellness. Most importantly, it provides students with practice in talking with a friend who may be struggling and connecting them to a supportive adult.

About Friend2Friend

  • Available online 24/7 and can be completed in multiple sittings, and at your own pace
  • Learn to recognize signs of distress and connect peers to a supportive adult
  • Role-play conversations with at-risk virtual student
  • Created in collaboration with school and mental health experts and educators

Our students will be doing the simulation Wednesday 12/2 during their Roundtable time (10:35-11:05.) We hope you will encourage your students to come to RoundTable and to participate in this important simulation. Their Roundtable teacher will also have a follow up discussion with them next week regarding the simulation.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me or Cristela Garcia, Lead Counselor at cristela.garcia@austinisd.org.

Sincerely,

Tamara Stone
Assistant Principal, McCallum HS
Co-Facilitator of the McCallum Social Emotional Learning Steering Committee