“The heart knows what the tongue can't say, and what the ears can't hear.”
- Nizar Qabbani
Most people experience a traumatic or stressful event at some point in their lives. These events create emotional distress that warrants healthy coping strategies such as self-care and identifying support systems. The resources that you will find here are a guide to facing life’s challenges and adversities.
Warning signs of stress are normal, short-term reactions to life’s unexpected challenges. However, it is important to recognize when you or others experience emotional distress that is persistent and becomes difficult to manage. If you are seeking assistance with accessing support for yourself or a friend, please complete this request for support form. If you have reason to believe your children are struggling emotionally, please let us know and be sure they seek support by telling their counselor, teacher or another trusted adult.
Sometimes help can’t wait. If you or someone you know is in danger or having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you or someone you know is struggling with a or in crisis, help is available.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available.
Call or text: 988
You’ll be able to speak with a trained crisis counselor any time of day or night.
Letter Of Support
Dear Paterson Public Schools Community,
Many of you are touched, directly and indirectly, by the conflict in the Middle East. No doubt you have been moved to tears and distress by the violence put upon your own who live in the region. As neighbors that share this beautiful city, I know that we can find the strength to show the empathy and concern for one another that can lead to understanding and healing. As Patersonians, we have a shared identity and shared hope for a better life.
Some of the core tenets of the work we do in the district of Paterson, is to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students. We have been working on providing emotional support to our students and families as needed. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or beliefs, has the opportunity to learn and thrive in an environment that promotes respect and acceptance.
We, at Paterson Public Schools, encourage our educators to ensure all our students are aware of the mental health, social emotional learning (SEL) or counseling services available to them throughout our district. It is our imperative to ensure that everyone within the Paterson district community knows that it is an environment where they feel safe and secure and that there are supports and resources in place across the district to assist them.
We are committed to supporting the Paterson community in ensuring the well-being of all students and families and stand ready to provide any assistance that may be required to address concerns. Thank you.
Laurie W. Newell, PhD
Superintendent of Schools
Download the Letter of Support:
Letter to the Community On Gun Violence
Dear Paterson Public Schools Community:
As you know, there has been an increase of gun violence in Paterson over the past week. I want you to know that your child’s wellbeing is my greatest concern. The growth and betterment of the children of Paterson are my first and last thoughts every day. As a parent, I understand the concerns you may have about sending your child into the world beyond the safety of your home. The fatal shootings that happened on Sunday and Tuesday sadden and frustrates me as much as it does you. When I see the reports on the news, when I watch the footage online, the evidence of gun violence that has taken place over the last week alone, in broad daylight, brings safety at our schools back into sharp focus.
Our children are exposed to many stressful factors throughout their day. We strive to provide a caring, nurturing, and safe educational environment for them. A school is a second home for children, and it should be a place where they can feel at ease and confident. The administrators, faculty, and support staff of the District consider the security of your child a priority. Every possible measure is taken to keep them safe in their school. We have security personnel that are trained in emergency situations and have effective protocols in contacting law enforcement when needed.
My heart goes out to the loved ones of those people whose lives were taken by this latest round of gun violence. I hope that the surge in gun violence soon comes to an end and that our streets will progressively improve.
Know that as the Superintendent of Schools, I will never settle for your child’s safety and education being any less than the best that can be provided; because as a mother, I would want the same for my children. There is plenty of work that needs to be done to meet the goals ahead. Each of us must bear that effort as partners, equally and faithfully.
Laurie W. Newell, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Download the letter: