Collaborative Wellness

Collaborative Wellness
Posted on 12/03/2021

Envision the City of Maple Valley and Tahoma School District (TSD) encircling our students, families and community in a hug. Both organizations have come together in a unique partnership to support our students, families and community with mental health.  

Perhaps you noticed the signs on Maple Valley-Black Diamond Highway that said “You Belong Here,” “You are Important” and “You are Appreciated” during the month of November.  “You Belong Here” week was a collaboration between the City and the TSD to make every member of the community feel valued. This is a shared message, and a key piece of the “Tahoma CARES” goals that the Tahoma School Board has developed for our students, staff and our community.

Hometown Holidays Booth

Tahoma CARES -- the district’s strategic plan in place through 2025 -- was built in partnership with hundreds of students, staff, and community members. The goals reflect the community’s awareness and prioritization on mental health supports. Embracing the adage “it takes a village to raise a child,” the City of Maple Valley and TSD have brought together Stephanie Williams, Community Resource Coordinator and Liz Thibert, District Wellness Coordinator to train and reach out to students, families and the community with mental health support and resources.

Over the course of this school year, there have been Wellness events with speakers talking about mental health.  There is an additional collaboration with Tahoma Behavior Health Collective, the City of Maple Valley and TSD, and together they are committed to hosting four events per year. In addition to those events, the City and the District are going to host an additional two to four events per year. In February, they will be hosting a suicide prevention event.

Thibert and Williams are training on Mental Health First Aid.  Thibert and other trained staff will bring this training to Tahoma staff so they are better equipped to support students and staff needing mental health support.  Williams will be training community members so that people within our community are available to support families needing support. 

There are also collaborative works happening with the “Safe Space” staff members to support mental health needs of our LGBTQIA+ students and staff.  Williams and Thibert are also part of the Tahoma Behavioral Health Collaborative that gathers input and ideas from local mental health agencies, private therapists, the district and the city. Having a connection through these groups, helps to create programs and fill the needs of our community.

With financial support from the City, TSD and a grant, Williams is excited to work with TSD to bring these mental health education, support and events to Tahoma and Maple Valley.  This unique collaboration is a pilot program and King County is watching closely to share about our successes.  Maple Valley and TSD are excited for this collaboration and for the main outcome of  assisting our community in positive mental health and wellness.

Learn more about Tahoma Wellness Supports here.
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