Tu Voz en Los Ángeles: Entrevista con Dra. Stephanie Nuñez

Tu Voz en Los Ángeles: Entrevista con Dra. Stephanie Nuñez

We, at KIPP SoCal Public Schools, believe that learning cannot happen unless our students are feeling well, safe and protected!

Dr. Stephanie Nuñez, Mental Health & Support Services Manager at KIPP SoCal, participated in a one-hour Spanish live radio show, Tu Voz en Los Ángeles, on KTNQ 1020 AM. Dr. Nuñez discussed with station talent, Gabriela Teissier and Gustavo Vargas, all about the social-emotional services and support that our public schools provide, including the H.E.A.R.T. initiative and #WellnessWednesday bilingual community information sessions via Facebook Live @KIPPSoCal, as part of our commitment to mental health! Open to all!

Tenemos buena salud mental y cuando pensamos en eso quiero que todos sepan que la salud mental es la capacidad de aprender y retener información! Todos somos capaces de sentir, expresar, y gestionar nuestras emociones sean negativas o positivas. Eso es la salud mental,” said Dr. Nuñez when sharing that we all have mental health— the ability to learn, feel, express and manage a range of emotions both positive and negative. 

HOW DOES MENTAL HEALTH & TRAUMA IMPACT STUDENTS?

Poor mental health and experiences with trauma can have significant impacts on a student and common challenges may include:

  • Maintaining peer relationships/social skills
  • Focusing and attending to learning
  • Low-self esteem
  • Extreme sadness
  • Difficulty expressing and 
  • managing feelings
  • Coping with change or uncertainty
  • Irritability or aggressive behaviors
  • Significant worry or anxious feelings
  • Withdrawing or isolating
  • Suicidal thoughts

“Nosotros tenemos un Departamento de Servicios de Apoyo [y Salud Mental] donde tenemos consejeros, trabajadores sociales, psicólogas [y conductistas autorizados y certificados] y trabajamos con los maestros,” noted Dr. Nuñez as she informed about KIPP SoCal’s Mental Health and Support Services (MHSS) Department that provides personalized support at each KIPP SoCal school.

KIPP SOCAL’S APPROACH

The MHSS's Healing Environments and Responses to Trauma (H.E.A.R.T.) approach at KIPP SoCal teaches educators to understand the impact that stress and trauma can have on a child's ability to regulate their emotions, behavior, and ultimately learn.

Our H.E.A.R.T. approach comprises, but is not limited to the following: 

  • Establishing a school-wide understanding of trauma & resilience
  • Fostering supportive adult relationships
  • Prioritizing social & emotional learning
  • Providing physical & emotional safety
  • Collaborating with families & community
  • Supporting and investing in developing educators & quality teaching

“Queremos promover las relaciones de apoyo entre todos los adultos, no solo los educadores que están en la escuela, sino también los papás en cómo pueden apoyar a los niños. Si queremos dar prioridad al aprendizaje pero el aprendizaje social y emocional también porque eso es super importante,” stressed Dr. Nuñez as she highlighted the importance of social-emotional learning. 

“Esto es algo que nosotros queremos hacer para que los papás y los educadores trabajen juntos en ayudar a los niños y entender que es el trauma, que es la salud mental y cómo este [apoyo] le ayuda a los niños tener un mejor aprendizaje,” added Dr. Nuñez when explaining that this is something that we are passionate about to help parents and educators work together, understand what trauma is, understand what mental health is, and how their support can help students learn.  

PRACTICAL WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF CARE

Self care does not need to be big, elaborate activities. Self care can look like… 

  • Drinking enough water/staying hydrated
  • Eating fruits, veggies and whole foods
  • Getting good sleep (aim for 7 hours each night)
  • Exercising regularly. This doesn’t have to be an extensive workout, it can be a light walk, jog, dance, yoga, etc.
  • Practicing gratitude 
  • Expressing your feelings and needs & asking for help
  • Journaling
  • Mindful, quiet moments 

Remember, your mental health matters too!

Interview originally aired on KTNQ 1020 AM Tu Voz en Los Ángeles

About the Radio Station: KTNQ 1020 AM is a Spanish news/talk radio station dedicated to improve the daily lives of first generation Los Angeles Latinos and their families by way of education and thought-provoking discussion from industry experts. Owned and operated by Univision.