PEABODY (WBZNewsRadio) - A new initiative from the Peabody Education Foundation is giving Peabody students the mental health support they need to emerge from the pandemic and take into their bright futures.
"We want to do the best for our kids so we're trying to find the tools that we can get out to the parents, whether it's resources, materials." Said Debbie McGreggor, who is on the board of directors.
The Mental Wellness Initiative offers motivational speakers and created special libraries in Peabody Public Schools to help students learn to cope with everything that had happened since March 2020. The drive aims to give students coping mechanisms for everyday stressors and mental health struggles.
When schools reopened in the fall, administrators and teachers noticed students were struggling to get back to a state of normal and they knew they needed to do something to help.
David Gravel, PEF chairman and CEO of GraVoc Associates said the decision to use PEF grant funding for mental health was an easy one.
"Mental wellness is not a one and done type thing, it's a consistency thing and you have to keep going at it." He told WBZ's Brooke McCarthy.
Last week, motivational speaker Norm Bossio spoke to students at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. Bossio has spoken to more than 3 million audience members, including President Bill Clinton and author Stephen King.
In March, artist Rob Surette visited Peabody's elementary schools to speed-paint portraits of heroes. Surette has visited more than 4,000 schools and is a top-tier master fine artist for Disney, Lucasfilm, MARVEL, DC Comics, DreamWorks and the Muppets.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports