April 4, 2019

Dear Mustang Families,

Mental health challenges are some of the greatest concerns facing our kids today. Twenty to twenty-five percent of students experience a mental health disorder. Outside of diagnosable disorders, students are dealing with lack of sleep, stress, and substance abuse.

During these difficult times, it is imperative for students to express what they are going through, know that they are not alone, and feel comfortable while seeking help.

Ross Szabo met with our students on Thursday, March 28th, and taught students about the complexities of mental health issues and empowered them to seek help or guide their friends to seek help if needed. Most mental health challenges are highly treatable, but too often remain hidden in silence consequently preventing people from achieving recovery.

Ross’s program focused specifically on how students can achieve positive mental health by starting to talk about their coping mechanisms. Ross used tasteful humor and personal insights to help participants understand common mental health conditions and individual differences.  He also identified warning signs that students can look for in their friends and peers, as well as resources that can provide guidance in these sensitive situations.

As we move towards building full community capacity surrounding wellness, coping skills, and mental health, at the request of parents, please find several books and videos below that can serve as resources. We have also included Ross's parent coffee talk as well as the presentation given to students

Thank you for being a collaborative partner in helping our students navigate the journey through their educational career.


The Student Services Team

TED Talk - “How to Make Stress Your Friend”
Behind Happy Faces - Taking Charge of Your Mental Health
by Ross Szabo

The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time
by Alex Korb, PhD

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
by Daniel J. Siegel, MD

Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction 
by Judith Grisel

Chilean Art Image
Greetings Mason!  Interested in hosting a student from Santiago, Chile in September?  There will be 24 students coming from Trewhela’s School in Santiago to Falls Church from September 7-20th to learn about our area.  We are seeking host families!  If you are interested in welcoming a student into your home to share two weeks of friendship, cross cultural exchange and wonderful times…. please complete the Host Family Application Form and return it via e-mail to the Chilean Coordinators of the program.

There will be an informational meeting on Monday, April 8th at 6:30 pm in Ms. Albert’s classroom (C106) at GMHS to learn more.

This visit is organized and sponsored by Trewhela’s School in Santiago, Chile.
Special Olympics Virginia Logo

Falls Church Little Feet Meet 

The Special Olympics, Little Feet Meet is coming to Falls Church! Everyone in the community is welcome to volunteer, attend, and/or support this amazing event.The Little Feet Meet is a track meet for elementary and middle school students with and without disabilities. Participants get to run, jump, hop, and sprint.  It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to show off their skills for family, friends, and teachers. This event helps promote, awareness, acceptance, and inclusion! 

May 30th 9:30 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.
George Mason High School Athletic Field

Volunteer sign up: Special Olympics Little Feet Meet

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