‘Lunch and Learn’ educates faculty on student mental health


Noelle Pryor

Teachers look over ways to help students

Metea staff attended Lunch and Learns on student mental health held by the guidance department during all lunch periods yesterday. Lunch and Learns are monthly educational opportunities for staff to teach each other about topics such as formative assessments, Peardeck, social-emotional learning, cultural differences in schools, and other issues. 

“We give an opportunity for professional development where they don’t have to go outside of school or pay for it. It’s more of a convenience thing for our staff and also cover topics that we think are important to that time,” assistant principal Dan DeBruycker said. 

This month’s Lunch and Learn covered adolescent mental health, and how teachers could help students in their classrooms. Social worker Kevin Wynard discussed Adverse Childhood Experiences, building resilience, self care, and the causes, prevention, and signs of mental health conditions. 

Wynard hopes that staff comes away from the experience feeling more comfortable building rapport with students and having conversations about mental health. 

“First and foremost, build relationships and connect with students, so that students feel they have a safe place and person to come to, because a lot of times outside of the school day they don’t,” Wynard said. 

The Lunch and Learn complements a school-wide effort to address mental health concerns. So far, the school has hired a mental health coordinator, and introduced mental health resources during Mustang30. 

 “I think we’re challenging our staff to think creatively and be there for our students and we want to give our teachers and our staff the tools if a student was to share something with them,” DeBruycker said.