The Student News Site of Coral Springs Charter School

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The Student News Site of Coral Springs Charter School

Paw Print

The Student News Site of Coral Springs Charter School

Paw Print

BHAP: The new peer support system for teachers

Behavioral Health Access Program peer supporters Lasilvia McCorvey, Kris Miller, Josefina Munoz, AJ Miller, Katie Brann, Alaina Butler, Kim Pekala, and Danielle Blair (left to right) meet together to receive training through University of Central Florida Restores.

The school has recently adopted a new mental health support program for teachers and faculty.

The Behavioral Health Access Program (BHAP), provides free peer support for any CSCS employee. Several team members have been trained through UCF Restores. They are spread out across several departments in order to ensure that all employees have quick and easy access.

“It all started by the city, and now it comes to us as teachers in order to help and give follow up to those who need it,” said teacher Josefina Munoz. “And because it’s not only the body that has problems, it’s also your mental health and your spiritual health, so that program kind of gives opportunity to those people.”

Peer supporters are there to listen and give support, along with providing and connecting staff with the resources available to them as a CSUSA employee.

BHAP first began in the Coral Springs Fire Department, then the Coral Springs Police Department, and is now available to Coral Springs government employees. It was created in 2017, and has since won the 2022 Local Government Excellence Awards, in the Strategic Leadership and Governance Award category.

“This has kind of been in the works since last year, and it seems to be very successful at the city level. We put a lot of focus on mental health for our children, and it needs to be recognized that adults also struggle with things,” said Assistant Principal Jennie Boyer. “ And so, again, just to be able to have that awareness and make sure that when our employees are on campus, they are feeling supported and that their needs are met in every realm.”

The program is free for any first responder, employee, or their family. BHAP services include seeing therapists or counselors for free as well. The Coral Springs government has about 70 trained supporters.

The school has 13 peer supporters, including AJ Miller, Alaina Butler, Caroline Martin, Danielle Blair, Donna Hoo, Josefina Munoz, Katie Brann, Kim Pekala, Kris Miller, Lasilvia McCorvey, and faculty members Gary Springer, Jennie Boyer, and Jodi Robins. These teachers and administrators were voted by their fellow peers as trusted people to go to.

These peer supporters also use BHAP. “I have done it, I’m not ashamed of doing it, especially in the times of COVID. We all needed that backup and without the backup and support, we wouldn’t have made it,” said Munoz.

Teachers can access these services through various ways. “One of them is through our website, the school website,” said Munoz. “And all over the school, there are QR codes. You just scan it with your phone and it gives you access to that, and nobody even has to see. Besides, you can approach any of us that are assigned peer supporters.”

Various resources are available through BHAP. You can get wellness support by peers, along with up to three free online wellness support sessions. “There’s financial consultations that they can give you, how to manage your finances and everything. But my favorite thing is that it’s a click away,” said Munoz.

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Autumn Erez
Autumn Erez, Copy Editor
Autumn Erez is a freshman. She is involved in theater and loves all things art. In her free time, you can find her crocheting, taking nature photography, making wire jewelry, or petting her 3 dachshunds.

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