Compassion fatigue as a result of COVID-19 and tornado recovery efforts is on the rise in Coweta County. In an effort to help our community members struggling with this issue, Coweta Family Connection is focusing on mental health and wellness through several Coweta Community Foundation grant-funded projects this fall.
“As we studied the published data, we discovered that Coweta County has an average of 20 suicides per year. We also saw in the Georgia Department of Education Student Health Survey that indicators for student anxiety and depression are high,” said Karen Stacy, coordinator for Coweta Family Connection. “Through our work with local nonprofits and other organizations, we’re seeing firsthand the compassion fatigue in our community. All these indicators factored into choosing mental health and wellness as the focus of our efforts for our community.”
All Coweta County school counselors received a basket in August filled with stress balls, anxiety rings, pop-it keychains, stretchy bands, and other stress relief items as part of the Mindfulness Manipulatives for Student Mental Health project. When students report feeling stressed or anxious, the counselors now have stress relief aids to share with the students while providing them with strategies for dealing with their anxiety.
The Caring for Those Who Care project kicked off in September for local nonprofit and agency leaders who have been serving Newnan after the devastating tornado in March 2021. Through this Coweta Community Foundation grant, up to 12 nonprofit leaders received six weeks of both individual and group counseling through Sea Glass Therapy/ Frayed Edges Foundation.
In addition to mental wellness projects for school students and nonprofit leaders, the Collaborative has also hosted a community training on QPR suicide prevention, and Connections Matter, a half day training that teaches about the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how to build resilience through positive interactions and identifying local resources to meet the needs of those experiencing ACEs.
Coweta Family Connection continues to seek funding for mental health and suicide prevention training for the Coweta community. If you would like to help Coweta County become a trauma-informed community, donations are accepted through PayPal.Me/CowetaFC or by check to Coweta Family Connection, PO Box 663, Newnan, GA 30264.
“Coweta Family Connection does such a great job bringing together agencies and providers to care for our Coweta community,” said Coweta County School System Mental Health support staff member Ruth Scott. “We appreciate the basket of mindfulness manipulatives given to our counselors for students needing mental health support. Schools can be the crossroads where community providers meet and reach children and families with services and support, and Coweta Family Connection points them in our direction.”
Visit our website at coweta.gafcp.org to learn more about Coweta Family Connection and how you can get involved in helping our county and our most vulnerable children and families thrive.