Recently, in the conference room of the Marshall Claude Thompson Primary School Library, about 15 teachers sat at small tables and met Warner and Amy Acor, senior school administrators in Fauquier County. The two men have handed out purple lanyar, pins and stickers to the teachers, which read, "I have received a mental health first aid certificate for adolescents," who have completed mental health first aid training and encouraged other colleagues to receive training.
The Virginia Department of Education allows local boards of directors to grant up to 40 educational hours for the course, which is re-certified every three years.
According to Fauquier County Supervision David Jeck, more than 900 school staff have been trained so far. This week, all county students will see videos encouraging them to take the initiative to contact teachers or staff wearing purple lanyard when they feel stressed.
Purple lanyard are used as visual markers, so students can get help from these social workers who wear them.
"The idea comes from local students," Warner said. "They told us that they needed a way to know who had been trained; to whom they could get help. "
Claude Thompson primary school teacher Megan Gardiner got her purple lanyard on Monday. "Training has provided me with tools and strategies to help and communicate with struggling mental patients," she said. "Wearing purple lanyard is just another way to support and serve the community we love