FRENCHBURG, Ky. — The Menifee County School District is working to make mental health a priority for its students. After the pandemic, the schools created two new student advocate positions within the schools to make that happen. 

What You Need To Know

  • Menifee County Public Schools is prioritizing mental health within their school district

  • Menifee County Public Schools has two student advocates who help students in different ways

  • In addition to the student advocates, the school also has Student Resource Officers and Counselors available to the students

  • The school district also has a sensory room for students

Katie Moore, a counselor at Menifee County High School, says making a safe place for students is the heart of the school.

“So they just flip the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and they know that they are in here, they can calm down and nobody’s going to interrupt them,” Moore said.

Moore alongside the student advocates work to prioritize mental health within the school district. Two new positions that Joshua Kincaid, Director of Personalized Learning, says came from needs students had during the pandemic. 

“Those can range from any needs those students have. They do home visits, they go out and just get resources for those kids. If they need somebody to talk to,” Kincaid said.

From Kindergarteners to seniors, the students have access to advocates John Sain and Sara Franklin, a job that goes beyond their office. “We’re more in these hallways, talking to kids, getting to know them on a personal level, especially just being out in the community as well. We do a lot of home visits. I think that’s almost our number one job,” Franklin said.

It’s a relationship that Sain says feels like being a big brother and big sister students can rely on. “We’re not there to get you in trouble. We’re there to pull you out and maybe talk a little bit, get some things off your chest. A lot of times, they just need to cool down a little bit. It’s a lot of time to prevent anything from escalating further,” Sain said.

Learning the students’ names, knowing their stories and helping them through tough times, creating a safe place for both learning and mental health. 

Besides student advocates, Menifee County School District also has school resource officers at each of their schools, who also support the mental health initiatives within the schools.