Mental Health Advocates of Western New York trained a group of Niagara Falls High School teachers Saturday about its Just Tell One program.
The initiative is a peer-to-peer public awareness prevention campaign focusing on emotional and behavioral issues like depression, suicide and addiction.
"It's really knowing that there are people out there and to find that trusted person you can turn to," said Carol Doggett, Mental Advocates of WNY marketing mommunications and outreach senior director.
Carol Doggett helped present the discussion-guide program for students, addressing a wide-range of topics.
Leaders say it's designed for educators to bring the conversation into their classroom for kids struggling with mental health issues.
"We want to give them the tools, the language, the confidence to identify if they feel they need help or if they see a friend needing help. And how to ask for that help." said Doggett.
"It's a huge need in Niagara Falls. It's a huge need everywhere," said Mark Laurrie, Niagara Falls City School District superintendent.
Niagara Falls is one of the first school districts to partner with the agency and subscribe to the program.
Leaders there say its crucial to provide the roughly 2000 students, who may have serious issues or concerns, with someone to talk to.
"It's just another one of the tools in our arsenal so to speak of preparing teachers to deal with the mental health crisis and the students where they are today. We will never be ready to learn the core curriculum," said Laurrie.
"I think we need to take care of that first," said Christine Barstys, Niagara Falls High School English teacher.
Teachers on-hand say students who aren't feeling well mentally or physically may have a tough time focusing on the subject matter at-hand.
"The more programs that we have, the better we can service our young people. I see a great need for it in our building and in our community," said Barstys.
Four other area school districts have also signed on for the training.