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Safe2Help IL: Addressing 21st Century Threats Facing Illinois Students

November 2
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
Digital Learning and Innovative Practices
Administrators, Technology Leaders/Support

Many educators across the country say they are facing an uptick in student misbehavior that appears to be associated with challenges related to the return to in-person learning after extended periods of remote or hybrid instruction.

Nearly half of all school and district leaders (44 percent) say they are receiving more threats of violence by students now than they did in the fall of 2019, according to the most recent EdWeek Research Center monthly survey.

Schools across the country are also overwhelmed with K-12 students struggling with mental health problems, according to school staff, pediatricians and mental health care workers.

Safe2Help Illinois is a comprehensive resource for students, teachers, and the community to support students’ social, emotional, and behavioral health and includes a 24/7 helpline where students can use a free app, text/phone, website, and other social media platforms to report school safety issues in a confidential environment. In the absence of a trusted adult, Safe2Help Illinois offers students a safe, confidential way in which to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence or other threats to school safety. The goal of Safe2Help Illinois is to get students to “Seek Help Before Harm”. This session will highlight the services and resources available to students, parents, and school communities through Safe2Help Illinois as well as the workflow on how a report is handled.

All resources provided by Safe2Help IL are developed mental health experts from the Boys Town National hotline and social emotional learning experts and educators that compliment the Illinois State Board of Education SEL curriculum.

Samantha Kanish
Samantha Kanish
School Safety Policy Advisor, Illinois Emergency Management Agency

Samantha serves as the Program Manager for the Safe2Help Illinois program. In this role, she is responsible for the marketing, outreach, training of key stakeholders, and overall program oversight. Prior to serving in this role, Samantha was the Public Relations Specialist for Safe2Tell Wyoming and Program Manager of the Wyoming Uniform Crime Reporting Unit.