BUFFALO, N.Y. — A local judge and community advocate are teaming up to improve students' mental health amid the ongoing pandemic. 

Buffalo City Court Judge Phillip Dabney Jr. joined author Duncan Kirkwood at the Health Sciences Charter School Monday.

That's where they donated 200 copies of Kirkwood’s book, "Rerouting: Resilience Tools and Tactics" to students.

The book is meant to help children manage what's turned out to be a chaotic school year.

Dabney and Kirkwood say it's especially important now as rates for anxiety and depression in teens are at an all-time high.

"I guess I would call it a pragmatic, emotional toolbox for students who really are against a lot of odds in navigating a lot of the changes in our current climate,” said Dabney Jr.

"I’m so excited that these books are going to be in the hands of young people who need it, especially in our community who have been through so much, not just with COVID, not just the virtual/blended/hybrid/remote learning, but also, just the nature of growing up in Buffalo,” said Kirkwood.

Kirkwood released the book in March of last year at the start of the pandemic lockdowns.