Jessie Laughlin, LSW, Youth First Social Worker at Edgewood Jr. High in Ellettsville (Monroe County)

Youth First Social Worker Jessie Laughlin believes in the importance of teaching students how to strengthen their mental health.

Jessie says, “I love that through Youth First, I can help students with their education process while also supporting their mental health growth.

It’s really rewarding to see the growth that takes place. I started working with a student the very first day of school. They’ve worked very hard with me to develop coping skills, explore their anxiety, and take risks to strengthen their mental health. I’m so happy to report they are staying in class, connecting with peers, and independently regulating their anxiety! While they used to be unsure how they would get through one school day, they now share their excitement for their future plans beyond middle school.

It’s really special and an honor to have a student share their world with you. It takes a village to prepare a student for their future, and I’m so happy to be a part of that. I will always value the importance of community, and forever be an advocate for fostering mental health at all ages of life.”