Bridgeport school superintendent launches mental health initiative during Mental Wellness Awareness Month

A new effort in Bridgeport Public Schools is underway to make sure students and families are getting the help they need to prevent things like suicide, bullying or addiction. 
Harry Bell, founder of the nonprofit Color a Positive Thought, is working to promote a new initiative being launched by Bridgeport School Superintendent Dr. Carmela Levy-David during Mental Wellness Awareness Month in January. 
"The really important part is ensuring that you have the right professionals on your team and the right mix of resources to not only be able to identify when students are feeling unsafe of when they’re having trauma, and not only students, but our staff, our teachers," said Levy-David.
Levy-David says the initiative is built on the idea that teachers are on the front lines of the effort to make sure kids and their families have the mental support they need.
"The first signal that something is wrong is when a kid doesn't want to come to school, and at times that can be written off as any type of excuse. But typically, it has to do with poor self-esteem, anxiety, depression, bullying,” Levy-David said. “All of the things that our students deal with, especially now that they spend a lot of their time on social media."
The superintendent says students need to feel supported and should be cared for differently.
A program at the Trumbull Gardens Community Center called Talk Through Your Hurt Over Dessert was designed to help Bridgeport children and destigmatize the process of getting help for mental health problems.