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Miamisburg schools OKs mental health assessment program for staff

Dayton Daily News - 9/19/2020

Sep. 19--COVID-19 hasn't been easy on many people, including educators saddled with the responsibility of teaching students via a host of new methods and technologies.

"A lot of things have happened, and people are still getting through it," said Miamisburg schools Assistant Superintendent Steve Homan.

That's why the district opted to move forward with Terrace Metrics, a new mental health assessment program offered to the district at no cost.

Cincinnati-based Terrace Metrics' test is touted as the only one that measures both risk factors such as depression, anxiety, victimization, drug/alcohol dependency, trauma and ostracism, along with protective factors, such as resiliency, workplace support, grit and hope.

The surveys are highly confidential and highly effective, said Richard Gilman, president of Terrace Metrics.

"Whether it's an educator or whomever else, they're able to just go online and, in 15 minutes, they are going to get their results," Gilman said. "Behavioral health is looking at personal strengths they have or may be lacking, as well as some of the risk things they may not even be aware of that are starting to interfere with how they're perceiving themselves and especially the face of all of this stress."

The fully-automated surveys are voluntary and the information gathered goes directly to the district without it receiving any personal information about any individual or his or her answers, Gilman said.

That provides an employer with a de-identified report of the collective behavioral health of its workforce, he said.

"It really allows them to understand the resources that they may need to enhance some areas that could be identified," Gilman said. "So this is a great way of, in this case districts, to allocate their resources accordingly."

For the survey participant, results reveal personal strengths that may be more challenging than they thought and are tied to videos and a self-guided curriculum, he said.

Everything that Terrace Metrics does is empirically based, comparing staffers results with hundreds of thousands of other individuals who have taken the same survey, Gilman said.

Homan, who said it was "very generous" for the company to offer the service for free, believes it will be beneficial for Miamisburg school district staff to participate, he said.

"We feel (that) just as mental health is very important to our students that we also need to take care of our Miamisburg family, with our staff, to provide them with opportunities to keep them mentally safe and well," he said.


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