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Student services provides professional development opportunity on mental health for coaches

(02/24/2023) During the staff development day on Feb. 21, hundreds of coaches from across the district gathered at Champlin Park High School (CPHS) for an afternoon of training and workshops focused on student-athlete mental health. 

The first part of the day included suicide prevention training, which is a newly required training in the state of Minnesota, and Anoka-Hennepin is taking a leadership role in that effort. Coaches had the opportunity to participate in QPR - also known as “Question, Persuade, Refer” training - a system to identify warning signs of suicide and how to refer someone for help. 

Dr. Joshua Stein, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with PrairieCare, led the QPR training for coaches. 

Following that session, coaches moved into a second session on coaching in 2023, leadership style, culture, and identifying and dealing with mental health, which was led by district social worker Britt Olean and her husband Chris, who is the head baseball coach at the University of St. Thomas.

“Knowing that co-curricular activities are such a protective factor for students, we wanted to equip coaches with tools and strategies to support positive team culture and mental wellness,” said Britt Olean. “As we look at the rising mental health needs, coaches need to have a plan to notice changes in their athletes and help treat mental health needs and symptoms the same way they do physical injuries.”

View photos from the professional development opportunity.