This week, Auburn Public Schools was awarded $5,000.00 by the SHINE Initiative, a program to raise awareness of mental illness in children and youth in our communities and our schools. The SHINE Initiative was established in 2004 by the directors and employees of Fidelity Bank. It is now guided by an advisory board consisting of healthcare professionals, business leaders, and family advocates, while continuing to draw support from Fidelity Bank.

Auburn Public Schools will be partnering with Auburn Youth and Family Services to provide training to School District staff and parents on current and emerging mental health issues. Further, the grant will provide ongoing consultation to District staff on challenging cases.

Pictured left to right are:  Dan Secor; Paul Richard; Pam Kaufmann, Interim Director of the Pupil Services, Auburn Public Schools; Sally D'Arcangelo, Director of Auburn Youth and Family Services; Maryellen Brunelle, Superintendent of the Auburn Public Schools. Submitted Photo.

Pictured left to right are: Dan Secor; Paul Richard; Pam Kaufmann, Interim Director of the Pupil Services, Auburn Public Schools; Sally D’Arcangelo, Director of Auburn Youth and Family Services; Maryellen Brunelle, Superintendent of the Auburn Public Schools. Submitted Photo.

“This is an investment in mental health awareness for our community,” says Pamela Kaufmann, Interim Director of Pupil Services for Auburn Public Schools. “I look forward to working on this initiative with Sally D’Arcangelo, Director of Auburn Youth and Family Services.”

The SHINE Initiative strives to engage the community in thoughtful conversations about mental illness. Initiative leaders note that SHINE “was founded in the belief that to overcome stigma and to improve access to mental health care for all who seek it, widespread support and recognition of mental illness as a mainstream issue would be required.”