First Lady Northam meets with Henrico students to address mental health concerns

Local News

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — First Lady Pam Northam met with Henrico High School students in a roundtable to talk about student mental wellness Friday morning.

Through the conversation, many students said they were thankful to be back in the classroom after a year of virtual learning.

School leaders said they’re seeing higher levels of mental health concerns at home and at school.

Leaders asked students what teachers and staff can do to better support students at school. Students said they would like to see more mental health days, more time with counselors and meaningful conversations in the classroom.

“They highlighted this. They need sometime within the school day to be able to have those enriching conversations that is going to lead to learning anyway,” Henrico High School principal Karin Castillo-Rose said.

The feedback will now be brought to the Governor’s desk to inspire policy change.

“Our voice is important,” junior Malachi Hayes said. “To give us the voice, to give us the opportunity, to talk about things you guys, or our administrators, might not see from a student standpoint. To have those conversations, to have those voices. We need to be seen and heard is very important to me.”

A Henrico Schools spokesperson said the district is looking at all options to address student mental health.

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