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Helping schools heal during COVID-19


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For access to confidential mental health services Show-Me HOPE Disaster Distress Helpline for confidential services available 24/7


DESE COVID-19 SEL Initiative - REACH

Mission Statement: The Missouri DESE REACH Initiative strives to help schools ensure their students and staff feel safe, welcome, and supported through Trauma-Informed care aligned with Social-Emotional supports. 

As schools begin the 2020-21 school year, they are welcoming back students and staff members who have experienced unprecedented trauma, lost loved ones, experienced economic insecurity and missed crucial socialization opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these needs, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has partnered with Alive and Well Communities- (Admin Memo CCR-20-002) to provide additional guidance documents, training sessions and engagement strategies for educators regarding social-emotional learning and development.

Recognizing needs
Educating schools and communities 
Adapting to a "new normal"
Connecting to resources
Helping build SEL capacity


Critical Incident Debriefing

A Critical Incident Debrief (CID) is designed to support the needs of educators (broadly defined to include administrators, counselors, para-professionals, support staff and teachers) experiencing a crisis which may be impacting personal and/or professional well-being. This may range from processing the stress related to balancing family responsibilities and virtual teaching to processing the death of a student. When necessary and appropriate, the licensed mental health professional will determine if greater therapeutic support is needed and discuss accessing employee assistance program (EAP), or insurance services, as well as the type of service that may be most beneficial. The CID request form can be completed by a school administrator or educator. All requests will receive a response within two business days. Request a Critical Incident Debrief here.

*The confidentiality of educators is of the utmost importance. Zoom calls will NOT be recorded and participant information will NOT be shared.*

If you are experiencing an active crisis which may result in harm to yourself or others, please access the crisis resources below for immediate support.

Show-Me Hope
1-800-985-5990 (call or text)
MO Crisis Help Text Line
Text HOME to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Recorded Trainings and Guidance Documents

Parent and Educator Partnership during COVID-19

Parents are our students' first teachers, and we know how important that role is for the health and well-being of our youth. We also know we are living through abnormal times and the ways in which parents, caregivers, and families are being pulled in a million different and unexpected directions requires assistance and resources. The trauma-informed lens is a critical element for our students, as well as their parents and caregivers. Join us as we navigate through the impacts of COVID-19 and support our families and schools into 2021.

Trauma-Informed Trainings for Classroom Management

Maintaining balance and order in the classroom can be challenging. Educators are going the extra mile to cope with the stress created by the global pandemic while sustaining a safe, healthy and productive learning environment for their students. For these reasons, and more, applying our trauma lens and following the principles of trauma-informed for decision making and communication is essential. Join us this month to discuss trauma-informed strategies for behavior and classroom management as we navigate  COVID-19.

Educator Well-Being

Central to healthy and successful schools, learn about self-care, community-care, and the role of leaders in creating cultures of well-being


Central to healthy and successful schools, learn about self-care, community-care, and the role of leaders in creating cultures of well-being

Social Emotional Reentry Considerations

Peer-Led Supportive Spaces

Licensed mental health clinicians and peer educators host virtual gatherings every Thursday from 4pm to 5pm for educators to process the impact of COVID-19 on mental wellness. The Peer-Led Supportive Spaces (PLSS) are opportunities to share personal experiences with other educators, increase mindfulness and wellness, and gather and build relationship as you face the challenges and opportunities of embracing the “new normal.” This is a good opportunity for educators of all levels to begin to access supports to advance their own emotional wellness and that of their school community. 

Register for the Peer-Led Supportive Spaces here.

*The confidentiality of educators is of the utmost importance. Zoom calls will NOT be recorded and participant information will NOT be shared.*

REACH Team Trainings

These trainings are designed for school teams to learn more about the impacts of trauma on students, educators, and communities and to be introduced to the Missouri Model for Trauma-Informed Schools. These trainings are free for any school team in Missouri seeking to become trauma-informed and create safe and supportive learning environments. Teams of 4-8 participants can include a school counselor, nurse, parent, youth leader, board member, or other staff. Register your school team for a March Training Here

April Trainings

May Trainings

June Trainings


Social-Emotional Learning Strategy Teams

These regional strategy teams include passionate, creative, and open-minded educators, youth, parents, and community leaders across the state. The teams will ensure each region is identifying local issues and priorities as it relates to social, emotional, and mental health during the economic and health recovery of COVID-19. To request more information, please email Rachel Jackson, Director of Social-Emotional Learning Strategy Teams.