June 23, 2024
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June 23, 2024
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Ma’ayanot Empowers Students To Make Healthy Choices

Ma’ayanot empowers students to make choices that will support their health and success. As part of comprehensive programming in the area of social and emotional wellness, Ma’ayanot welcomed Communities Confronting Substance Abuse (CCSA) to address Ma’ayanot sophomores, juniors and seniors in a program titled “Let’s Talk About It: An Honest Look at Substance Use and Stigma.” Ma’ayanot is grateful to Leanne and Etiel Forman, CCSA’s founders and Ma’ayanot parents, who joined Sharon Darack, MSW, to address 10th-12th grade parents as well.

Ma’ayanot students participated in a multimedia and interactive program, including hearing in person about Ma’ayanot alumna Ellie Forman’s journey to recovery, and had the opportunity to reflect and share feedback about the program with Ma’ayanot guidance staff and with CCSA. The primary goals of CCSA’s school program are a strong focus on prevention, strengthening refusal skills, reducing stigma and obstacles to seeking help, and connecting friends and loved ones with help.

Since 2018, Ma’ayanot Head of School CB Neugroschl has been part of a small group of yeshiva high school administrators who study the risk factors and potential interventions relating to the use of substances in our community. Ma’ayanot also participates in a cohort of yeshiva high schools that have surveyed thousands of yeshiva teens about their ideas, experiences and reactions with the goal measuring the risk factors and the protective factors for teen substance use in our community.

Dr. Rayzel Yaish, Ma’ayanot’s director of guidance, explained, “Mental health education is integrated into Ma’ayanot’s weekly community periods, health classes and interdepartmental initiatives such as mishmar, book chats and humanities classes. We invited CCSA to Ma’ayanot because Ma’ayanot is committed to fostering open communication about tough issues. We recognize the challenges some teens face and are developing practical and empathic tools that serve to bolster the many layers of social and emotional wellness.”

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