Chelsea Children’s Cabinet Launches “Chelsea Cares

City of Chelsea officials today announced the launch of the public engagement campaign “Chelsea Cares” to bring increased awareness around the importance of mental health and wellness in the Chelsea community.

Chelsea Cares is a collaborative effort led the Chelsea Children’s Cabinet, which includes City of Chelsea officials, Chelsea Public Schools (CPS), and community partners to promote a widespread understanding of mental health, build community connections, and normalize conversations about the importance of mental health and wellness in our community. The campaign will engage the entire community in an effort to build awareness around existing mental health services, expand on the services already provided, and conduct forums and events to gather community input about the needs of Chelsea residents.

The campaign will support a trend of mental health issues in Chelsea that is consistent with national trends among youth and adolescents. Youth Mental Health is currently one of four Public Health Priorities by the U.S. Surgeon General, identifying that “far too many young people are struggling with their mental health and unable to get the support they need.”

“It is important that we talk about mental health because it can give us the freedom to seek help, find others who can relate and move towards well-being,” Superintendent of Chelsea Public Schools Dr. Almi G. Abeyta commented. “Chelsea Cares will help shine a light on mental health so that we can support each other and continue the conversation.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino added, “I’m very hopeful that the Chelsea Children’s Cabinet’s new ‘Chelsea Cares’ campaign will further the dialogue surrounding Mental Health in our community.  Addressing the urgent mental health needs of our youth is a critical challenge facing the City, and this campaign is intended to spread awareness on the resources available to help.”  

In addition to the launching of the “Chelsea Cares” campaign, members of the Chelsea Children’s Cabinet have completed other endeavors to support the mental health needs of the community. These endeavors included, but were not limited to:

• The increase of CPS Social Work and School Counseling staffs to total 18 School Social Worker positions and 15 School Counselor positions.

• The development of a Mental Wellness Social Marketing Campaign by Healthy Chelsea’s Teen Action Project. The campaign includes an Instagram page, @chelsea.wellness, created by and for youth, as well as a series of video interviews with over 26 community leaders encouraging conversations and helpful tips related to mental health.

• A robust community engagement effort by the City of Chelsea to help allocate $15 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds among a variety of priority areas, including Behavioral & Mental Health.

• The integration of Mental Health into Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum.

Through COVID-19 relief programs and the general fund, Chelsea Public Schools has also budgeted for additional staffing increases next year to support mental health services. These increases include:

• 1 new Social Worker at the Chelsea Virtual Learning Academy

• 2 full-time School Counselors at the Mary C. Burke Elementary Complex to support the four elementary schools in Chelsea

• 1 School Counselor at the Browne Middle School

• 1 School Counselor and an increase in the Social Work staff at the Morris H. Seigal Clark Avenue Middle School

• 1 School Counselor and an increase in the Social Work staff at the Eugene Wright Science & Technology Academy

“It is not only critical to provide timely resources and interventions for our young people, but to include and amplify their voices for both messaging and developing effective solutions to this ongoing mental health crisis.”  said Yasmine Hung, Youth Coordinator for the Healthy Chelsea Coalition.

The “Chelsea Cares” campaign will be multilingual, and its visibility will be accessible to the Chelsea community in a variety of formats:

• This Friday, May 6, Chelsea Public Schools will host its first-ever Youth Mental Health & Wellness event where campaign announcement materials will be available.

• A section on the Chelsea Public Schools website with information for students, families and the community

• Future advertising materials that will be available in multiple modalities and languages throughout Chelsea

• Community events to continue to foster dialogue, and break the stigma of mental health

• Social Media content using the hashtag #ChelseaCares.

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