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In the Schools: Coping Skills Fair at Kelly STEAM Magnet Middle School

On Friday, April 29, 20 teens from Norwich Free Academy held a Coping Skills Fair for all eighth-graders at Kelly STEAM Magnet Middle School.

The NFA Coping Experts Team was made up of teens from the NFA Prevention Council, Project Outreach and the Teen Leadership Initiative. The NFA teens researched, created, presented and interacted with all of Kelly Middle’s 225 eighth-graders who are facing the big transition to high school.

The Coping Skills Fair included video presentations on mental health; a chance to create a personal coping skills checklist; a coping skills game designed to demonstrate balancing and prioritizing; a presentation on journaling as a way to cope that included free journals with prompts for the eighth-graders; mindfulness and breathing exercises with takeaway cards; and an art as a coping skill activity where they all got a box of colored pencils and drew fingerprints with positive thoughts.

Each eighth-grade class was able to rotate through every one of these offerings over the course of the entire school day. The date of this Coping Skills Fair fell near the end of Suicide Prevention Week in Norwich, and preceded the 10th Annual Suicide Awareness Walk across the street from Kelly, at Fontaine Field.

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