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Superintendent's Message

Jeff Saylor Staff Photo

Jeff Saylor

Our Mental Health Matters

These past few days have been difficult for all of us in the Engineer Family.  As a matter of fact, we have had to face several different trials and tribulations over the past year.  The purpose of this message today is one of hope and encouragement, but also one of action.

As I look back at the incidents that we have encountered, students, parents, staff members and the community have rallied behind the individuals impacted by these events; providing love, support, a shoulder to lean on and many prayers.  We live in one of the best places in this entire country and I am proud to be a part of this community.   During these times our community always comes together to provide for our students and their families and for that we need to be thankful.

There are times when all of us feel overwhelmed and no one knows what any one person is going through on a daily basis.  There are times when many of us are hurting due to the circumstances in our lives and we never tell anyone.  Sometimes we know others are hurting and we just keep quiet because we do not want to make things worse.  It is time for all of us to realize that we have to stop it.  Just like our physical health, spiritual health and all other aspects of our life, our mental health matters too!

Without a healthy mental outlook in our lives, everything else in our life will be impacted.  If any of us were to break and arm, many of the activities we do on a daily basis would be impacted.  We would never think of trying to hide it or treat it ourselves. We would immediately tell someone and seek the treatment of a qualified medical professional.  Based on their expertise and experience, they would recommend a course of treatment in order for us to start the healing process.  It may take several weeks and continued treatment, but over time our arm would heal and things would get better. 

The same is true for our mental health.  Your mental health matters and you have to take the steps necessary to begin the healing process.  Those steps are:

  1. Tell someone you trust and who can help you.
  2. Keep talking until someone listens, be persistent.
  3. Treatment works.  It really does!
  4. Stay in treatment for as long as it takes, based on advice from a quailed professional.

Finally, if anyone is worried about someone that may be struggling with a mental health issue, don’t keep it to yourself.  I know it is difficult and you may feel that you are breaking trust with a friend or acquaintance, but in reality this person is reaching out for help and you have the power to make sure they get the help they need.  Tell someone who can get this individual the help they need before it is too late. 

Over the next few weeks our school district will be looking at ways we can help educate our students and staff on how to deal with mental health issue, how to intervene when we suspect someone is struggling, and how to change our culture from one of secrecy and fear.  We ask that our civic clubs, churches and other community groups begin this same process as we try to make a difference in our community.

The Vision of our district is “Every Child Succeeds”, but let’s take this one step further.  We want all of our students, staff and community members to lead a long and healthy life.  Each of us has a purpose and an opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of those we encounter.  Let’s help each other to fulfill this purpose and destiny. 

Jeff Saylor


Estill County School District


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Estill County Board of Education
253 Main Street
Irvine, KY 40336