Reopen NYC: Mayor unveils 'Bridge to School' mental health initiative for students

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, unveiled the "Bridge to School" mental health initiative for students.

The Robin Hood Foundation and other local partners are aiding the city in this mental health program.

It contains a specific mental health curriculum to help students, training for teachers and principals, and resources for both in-person and remote learning students.

"It means helping them process their emotions positively constructively. It means helping them build relationships and resolve conflict," McCray said. "It means helping them grow into healthy, happy, adults, social and emotional learning means creating a curriculum, we're learning those skills is just as important as learning how to read or learning how to do math."

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First Lady Chirlane McCray discusses the "Bridge to School" plan.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said that "rebuilding the personal connection" between students and teachers is more important than ever after kids have dealt with poverty, grief, and stress over the past six months.

"As students reenter their school communities reentering buildings in many cases that they abruptly left in March, getting a brand new building, these materials in lessons will help students build coping skills in process grief and reconnect and allow students to orient themselves to learning online or in classrooms during the first few weeks," Carranza said. "In addition, with the generous support of the Robin Hood Foundation, the Gray Foundation, and The Tiger Foundation, and with the incredible support of The Fund for Public Schools."

Carranza also said there would be a helpline with The Child Mind Institute to assist teachers as they implement the initiative.

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New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza discusses the mental health plan for students heading back to school.

"We will launch a helpline for educators and school staff to call to consult on best practices in classroom strategies for assisting students with their mental health and wellness, staffed by mental health professionals, this hotline will help schools get immediate answers to urgent questions and concerns that they have for their students," he said.

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