MUSHTAC Visits Fayette County for Mental Health Art Contest and Tier 2 Planning

May 24, 2024 | AWARE, News

Crystal Criswell, School Mental Health Coordinator for Project AWARE through the Marshall University School Health Technical Assistance Center (MUSHTAC), Division of Community Health, School of Medicine, performed the difficult job of judging the finalists in the Mental Health Art Contest at Valley PreK-8 in Fayette County on the evening of May 2nd. Many deserving young artists vied for four prizes by creating posters to increase mental health awareness. Each of the four winners used creative art to provide positive messages about how to cope with difficult emotions. These artists should be proud of their work.

The following morning, Crystal visited Oak Hill Middle and Oak Hill High to meet with members of each school’s mental health team. While at Oak Hill Middle, Jesse Keeton (therapist) and Liz Roberts (social worker), shared the work they have been doing with students. They both provide services across the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, and treatment, including extensive referral, screening, assessment, and follow-up. They particularly enjoy visiting students and families in their homes. They would like to offer more Tier 2 supports. We discussed several options for Tier 2, with limited time and budget, so those efforts can be sustained once AWARE funding expires.

Oak Hill High’s Kassie Gunnoe (social worker) shared the many unique mental health efforts made there, including Oak Heal and the Heroes Among Us conference. Kassie hopes to step into the therapist role as soon as she earns her license and is excited about that. She has made plans to continue working with students during the summer, and to keep up the momentum with student-lead efforts.