On April 21st, Neuqua held their Confront the Elephant event at the Freshman Center. In years past, Confront the Elephant was a program that was started in order to talk about drug use in our community. This year teachers, students and parents talked about addiction, and mental health was also a topic of conversation.
This year, the school has had an initiative to discuss SEL, social-emotional learning, through once a month lessons. we have been doing sel lessons and we have and suicides and overdoses but the SEL lessons do not change even though they are not working.
I believe that we need to be doing more personal stories or lessons that can really impact students’ lives to where they might want to get help. I do think Neuqua truly cares about its students and wants what’s best for them but it just comes with trial and error, the SEL lessons were a good idea but there is nothing personal or really mind changing things. They don’t go into great detail about struggles and where you can go to get help; they just teach about interactions and how to get closer to people or how to see other people’s perspectives.
Confront is an amazing way for freshmen to understand why drugs are so bad and why getting help for your mental health and or drug addiction is important. The SEL lessons don’t teach enough about getting help or the options for help that would improve your health. The school system needs to come up with something that will cover these topics for every grade, not just freshmen. There should be a program that is discussed every year after freshman year as well.