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Baldwin UFSD Wellness Center Garners Attention from Media

Newsday

"Wellness Center in Baldwin School Gives Students of all Ages a Place to Seek Better Mental Health" 

Painted a calming light grey, services in the new Wellness Center at Baldwin Middle School are split up into two sides. The right side focuses on academic wellness, and features unique desks, dry erase boards, and “falcon nest” seats. 

The left side of the centers on emotional wellness, and features counseling sessions, art therapy, and play therapy. While students wait for a session, they are welcome to sit in bean bag chairs and play at a designated Lego station, or use crayons and colored pencils.

Inside the center counselors, therapists, and behavioral specialists, work with students from elementary school through high school age.

The center is a partnership with PM Pediatric Care, which provides mental health services for free for all students and does not take insurance.

"The world is not 1960 anymore," said superintendent Dr. Shari Camhi. "In our school system, we embrace this idea of understanding that it's 2024, we embrace the idea that the world is in a different place than it once was."

Thanks to a $3 million grant secured from former U.S .Representative Kathleen Rice, the center was able to come into fruition, and operate for the next four years.

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LI Herald

Addressing the pressing need for mental health resources, the Baldwin school district has unveiled the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center in Baldwin Middle School, which will serve as a hub for comfort and support.

In partnership with PM Pediatric Care, an urgent-care center with its corporate office in New Hyde Park that specializes in pediatric and adolescent care, the wellness center will provide an array of services intended to meet the needs of both students and the community.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 21 inaugurated the facility, with a green ribbon serving as a symbol of mental health awareness.

“In our school system, we embrace this idea for understanding that it’s 2024,” district Superintendent Shari Camhi said. “The world is a different place than it once was and today, you’ll have the opportunity to see one of the examples of different.”

The left side of the wellness center space will focus on emotional wellness, and the right side on academic wellness. The left side will feature counseling sessions and art and play therapy. The right side has desks, dry-erase boards and what are called “falcon nest” seats.

Read more in the LI Herald>>


LI Business News

A partnership between the Baldwin Union Free School District and PM Pediatrics Care is designed to provide mental health services to the district’s students, from elementary to high school.

The district is launching the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center, and aims to enhance resources for students and families.

In partnership with PM Pediatric Care and located at the Baldwin Middle School, the center is designed to provide immediate access to behavioral health care and resources dedicated to mental wellness for students from elementary through high school. It will offer flexible hours, both during and after school. The approach aims to support students’ whole health needs while optimizing their learning experiences.

“Nurturing the ‘whole child’ continues to be a key focus for the Baldwin School District,” Dr. Shari Camhi, superintendent of schools for Baldwin School District, said in a written statement.

“We understand that to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education, we must first ensure our student’s emotional wellness,” Camhi added.

The new wellness center got its start with a grant from then-U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice. Its opening comes at a time when the mental and behavioral health of school-aged children, including substance use disorders and overall emotional well-being, are a public health concern, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies show that students who are both physically and mentally healthy are more likely to excel in all aspects of academic achievement, including academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.

Read more in LI Business News>>


eSchool News

Youth mental health is a crisis nationwide. Many are struggling to manage the stress and complications of everyday life. Studies show that students who are healthy both physically and mentally are more likely to excel in all aspects of academic achievement, including academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.

As a part of an ongoing initiative to enhance the health and wellness resources available to its students and families, the Baldwin Union Free School District (UFSD) is proud to launch the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center and to be among the first school districts in the nation to establish such a resource directly on campus at no cost to families.

In partnership with PM Pediatric Care and located at the Baldwin Middle School, the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center provides immediate access to behavioral health care and resources dedicated to mental wellness for students from elementary through high school, with convenient and flexible hours during and after school. This innovative, collaborative approach to connected care is key to supporting students’ whole health needs while optimizing their learning experiences.

“Nurturing the ‘whole child’ continues to be a key focus for the Baldwin School District,” said Dr. Shari L. Camhi, superintendent of schools for Baldwin School District. “We understand that to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education, we must first ensure our student’s emotional wellness. The Baldwin Schools Wellness Center, under a grant from former Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, is a significant step in this direction, benefiting not only our district and therefore, the Baldwin community. Through this new resource, we will foster a positive and nurturing environment that promotes emotional and academic well-being for everyone involved. We are extremely proud to be among the first school districts in the nation to offer such comprehensive services at no cost to our families directly onsite. Thank you to our Board of Education, administrators, the Pupil Services department, all of our staff who helped bring this to fruition, as well as our partners at PM Pediatric Care. We look forward to seeing the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center’s continued success.”

Read more in eSchool News>>


ReportWire

A partnership between the Baldwin Union Free School District and PM Pediatrics Care is designed to provide mental health services to the district’s students, from elementary to high school.

The district is launching the Baldwin Schools Wellness Center, and aims to enhance resources for students and families.

In partnership with PM Pediatric Care and located at the Baldwin Middle School, the center is designed to provide immediate access to behavioral health care and resources dedicated to mental wellness for students from elementary through high school. It will offer flexible hours, both during and after school. The approach aims to support students’ whole health needs while optimizing their learning experiences.

“Nurturing the ‘whole child’ continues to be a key focus for the Baldwin School District,” Dr. Shari Camhi, superintendent of schools for Baldwin School District, said in a written statement.

“We understand that to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education, we must first ensure our student’s emotional wellness,” Camhi added.

Read more in ReportWire>>


Shades of Long Island

Students and families in the Baldwin school district will now be able to address any mental health issues they face for free at the newly created Baldwin Schools Wellness Center.

In partnership with PM Pediatrics, the center officially opened on March 21. Thanks to a $3 million grant secured by former New York State Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, the funding was available and the opportunity presented itself to create the center. When considering what organization to partner with, PM Pediatrics came to the forefront as a perfect fit according to Superintendent Shari Camhi.

“They [PM Pediatrics] offer the services and expertise we needed, and their team was fully on board with our innovative approach to tackling emotional wellness in schools,” said Camhi. “We understand that to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education, we must first ensure our student’s emotional needs are fully met. Nurturing the ‘whole child’ continues to be a key focus for the Baldwin School District.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing struggle for racial justice has accelerated troubling mental health trends among youth that have been observed prior to 2020. Rates of childhood mental health concerns and suicide rose steadily between 2010 and 2020 and by 2018 suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. McMillen Health states that mental health affects an array of outcomes such as a student’s ability to learn, academic achievements, social relationships, physical health and stress management.

Baldwin is one of the first school districts in the nation to implement this kind of health program.

Read more in Shades of Long Island