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SMJUHSD and Transitions back button

A Central Coast non-profit is teaming up with the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District to promote mental wellness with staff and students.

Transitions-Mental Health Association professionals will soon conduct Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and Youth Mental Health First Aid with faculty, counselors, administrators and student leaders. The courses teach how to spot youths with unmet mental health needs and help them get what they require.

The team will also work with student leaders such as ASB (Associated Student Body), Link Crew members and others so they can use the (QPR) techniques to mentor fellow students. In addition, they will teach mental health awareness, self-care options, and the ability to recognize when peers are in distress in some health classes and during assemblies.

“We are helping these young people have the conversation about this topic in a way that is meaningful and respectful,’’ said Transition Fund Grant Manager Michael Kaplan.

A grant from the Gertrude & Leonard Fairbanks Foundation enabled Transitions to create this new high school outreach program. Last year, it served several schools in San Luis Obispo County. This year, the agency will also involve northern Santa Barbara County through the SMJUHSD.

“This is one piece of a larger effort to focus on mental health efforts for all students, which includes additional school psychologists, excellent counselor-to-student ratios and a partnership with Fighting Back Santa Maria aimed at student wellness,’’ said SMJUHSD School Board Member Carol Karamitsos.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.