David Lawrence Center Partners with Public Schools in Health Moves Physical Education Pilot Program

January 4th, 2016

About half of all mental health conditions have their first onset in childhood or adolescence usually before the age of 14. As a result, David Lawrence Center is committed to advancing prevention, early identification and intervention strategies for children.

Through our continued collaboration with Collier County Public Schools (CCPS), the David Lawrence Center’s Youth Prevention team was asked to participate in their new Health Moves Physical Education (P.E.) program. Health Moves P.E. is a pilot program designed by the Collier County Public School Health Program which provides students with opportunities to develop and enhance skills necessary to make sound decisions and take positive action for healthy and effective living. The goal of their program is to, among other things, help students experience a positive mental/emotional development, develop positive communication, enhance interpersonal and coping skills, become aware of responsible decision making and health habits, understand harmful situations as well as prepare for a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime.

Through this effort, DLC Youth Prevention partnered with various middle school and high school PE teachers to develop two mental health and substance abuse training programs to be given during the physical education class periods. These trainings involve interactive activities combining education with movement.

The first training program, Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco, gives students the opportunity to learn about the negative effects of these substances on the body and the risks involved with using them. The second training, Coping Skills, Risk Reduction and Decision Making, allows students to identify positive ways of handling stress, and the skills to think through the potential consequences of their actions.

Trainings began in October and will continue through the end of January.

By helping children and adolescents manage difficulties early in life and providing mental health awareness, David Lawrence Center hopes to help them build skills and resilience that can prevent more serious problems such as substance abuse, criminal justice involvement, school failure and hospitalizations as they get older.

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