The Natural Helpers program provides training to students who have been identified as “listeners” by their peers and school staff.  These trained helpers learn to respond effectively when their fellow students experience a wide range of difficulties, and they receive valuable coaching in connecting vulnerable peers to appropriate resources.

Intensive training retreats, held in the fall and spring of each school year, provide a comfortable, supportive, and confidential setting where students can discuss behavioral health issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, risky behaviors and self-harm.  The Program Coordinator instructs the student groups in understanding and observing the warning signs and risk factors for suicide and how to take direct action to keep their peers out of harm’s way.  They also learn how to care for themselves while building a toolbox of resiliency skills. Values of tolerance, inclusion and empathy are strengthened as these helpers support the most vulnerable in their school communities.

For more information call The SKY Center at 505-473-6791 or

Grietje Laga, Natural Helpers Coordinator via e-mail grietje.laga@gmail.com

 

Natural Helpers: Santa Fe Middle School Students Offer their Kindness and Courage to Peers in Need

Close to 180 middle school students were trained at Bishop’s Ridge Camp Stony (Santa Fe, NM) this fall during the Sky Center’s peers-helping-peers’ fall retreats.

 

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