1) What is the Power of PATH: Building Resilience for Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Curriculum™ and what is its main focus?

This curriculum is Tasha Schuh’s response to the need for mental health and suicide awareness education. After many school presentations in her speaking career, Tasha and her team of professionals created a six-lesson curriculum– currently being expanded to multi-year instruction– designed to be delivered by a qualified instructor within grades 6 - 12. The curriculum provides teacher instructions (with optional scripts), student handouts, YouTube and short Impact Videos, peer empathy and resilience-building activities, projects and student surveys/tests, CDC and SAVE endorsed content, along with support from Tasha herself to ensure the PATH program succeeds. All materials are delivered through an online Dashboard designed to minimize teacher preparation.

The curriculum focuses on Tasha’s special acronym of PATH: PURPOSE, ATTITUDE, TEAM and HOPE. The lessons have been developed for ease in teacher and student comprehension, cohesive progression in scope and sequence, and simplicity for teacher delivery. The curriculum complements Tasha’s large group keynote presentation, yet thanks to Impact Video #1, (a core piece of Lesson 1), the curriculum may be implemented at your school without a personal visit from Tasha.

2) Who created the curriculum? 

The curriculum was developed by Tasha along with a team of professionals, including a 35-year veteran public school teacher and a mental health counseling professional (CMHC). Tasha also employed a publishing team (editor, graphic designer, videographer) to focus on the format and delivery of colorful, engaging content, including graphic organizers, fillable PDFs, video content, PowerPoint / Google slides, and PATH posters, all with a clear, concise outline for instructor ease. Tasha’s mission for a credible, understandable, and impactful curriculum was over two years in the making, with continuous improvement, adding new materials as educators provide valuable feedback. Piloted in a variety of school settings, the curriculum is available to schools everywhere, at a price that ensures its affordability for all.

3) Expanding on mental and emotional health sounds like a huge budget undertaking? How can my school afford this?

The curriculum is priced to be affordable to every school: a $799 one-time fee includes middle AND high school lessons at one price. However, if your district cannot afford this, consider these options for payment:

• Ask your school’s Parent Club or your community's Rotary Club to fund this or consider local grants or sponsorships by community organizations/businesses. (see specific examples toward end of this list) *

• Look into state grants (Wisconsin has a “School based Mental Health Grant” program).

• Look into federal funding for COVID-19 (Consider the US Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 related community grants: https://www.samhsa.gov/coronavirus).

• Search Grants.gov using the keywords “Suicide Prevention” or SEL to find educational grants to help with your budget for the curriculum.

• Ask an administrator for grant ideas. Most districts have an employee delegated to the task of finding creative ways to support a school’s budget with special search privileges on government, non-profit, or NGO websites.

• RHIhub has many grants available, including one to invite a speaker (like me!) with funding allocated for follow-up, like the PATH Curriculum.

• Budgets often delegate a dollar amount to departments, or for categories like “School Improvement.” For example: Counseling department/school counselors who do drop-in lessons within regular education classrooms– you may have budget dollars for this.

• Advisory classes (do you have a budget?) Regular education teachers often have groups of students delegated to their classrooms for one period of enrichment coursework, like The PATH Curriculum.

• Health education and physical education instructors who deliver broad-field content regarding student health…again, ask your colleagues about their budgets for SEL and mental/emotional health content.

• Budget dollars may be delegated for Homeroom periods where teachers often supervise study support (study halls) and build rapport with a close-knit group of students.

• Alternative Education budgets - paraprofessional and alt-ed instructors often have resources delegated for skills improvement using unique or alternative education strategies.

• Schools insured by *TRICOR Insurance / EMC Insurance in Wisconsin are eligible for a $250 scholarship to apply towards the curriculum. For more information, please contact your school district’s agent and they will get you the code you need for this scholarship.

• The PATH Curriculum also fulfills requirements for *Title IV funding (see also #4 below) since PATH is…

• a comprehensive school mental and behavioral health curriculum

• a comprehensive approach to social and emotional learning

• includes methods and tools to address bullying and harassment prevention

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) website states the details which can be found here: ESSA Title IV Funding Opportunities

School safety and school climate are inclusive in the goals for a PATH Curriculum school.

Our best advice: Please ask! “Team it” with building and district financial planners, or other administrators who work under the umbrella of school budgets, to inquire about funding options. Some departments / subdivisions may have funding available that you are not aware of.

4) Why is the Power of PATH: Building Resilience for Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Curriculum™ priced so low?

We hope you find that this is the best $799 you have ever spent. Please don’t judge the quality of our program by the low price. The curriculum was designed to touch the lives of every student.

The per-student cost is very low! This is due to Tasha’s mission that Logan’s legacy save lives. Tasha gathered the most professional and caring team possible, and all agreed to help create a professional curriculum of the highest quality for students, at the fraction of the price most curriculum developers would have to charge. The goal is to reach EVERYONE. Tasha’s team made a pledge to contribute their best efforts to offer this at a price that makes it accessible to all schools.

5) Why should students learn about mental health and suicide awareness?

Growing data regarding depression, substance abuse, and violence toward oneself and others are linked to mental and emotional health behaviors. In the United States, surging statistics, (see NIMH), including attempted suicides and suicide deaths among young people, (ages 10-24), have been on the rise even though they are considered preventable. According to the CDC, “In 2018, suicide took more than 47,000 lives, with rates increasing 35% since 1999. Suicide has devastating consequences on individuals, families, schools/workplaces, and entire communities.” The tragic loss felt when someone you love dies by suicide impacts far more than the individual who took the action to end his or her life. Suicide leads to devastation for those left behind to cope with the loss.  

Fact-based content like that offered in the PATH Curriculum can be two-fold in its strength to help save lives. First, in the students’ discovery that we are not alone. The curriculum unites students in their awareness that mental and emotional growth is a struggle for many people, and that resilience is acquired over time with experience in overcoming struggles. Tasha Schuh demonstrates this well with her personal story of overcoming the challenges of a sudden life change becoming a quadriplegic. She shares what she now calls PATH-- that set of tools that assists her to face life’s setbacks, without turning to destructive devices that deepen rather than assist with problems. Secondly, for students who lack understanding of the struggles their classmates may be experiencing with mental or emotional health, empathy is key. Compassion, kindness, and gratitude must be practiced so when our peers show a need for support, we can activate the capacity and skill-set to help. Few traditional Health education courses provide enough depth and practice for this. 

Tasha’s mission to address the mental health crisis in America deliberately starts with our youth-- with students who can build a set of skills in a needed human growth area for generations to come. School data also shows that when we bring the mental health services into the schools, students comply and have more success. Hence, the PATH curriculum is designed for ALL students. This will a) complement the supports that are already individualized through counseling and therapy services; b) benefit the underserved– the children who don’t provide warning signs to us; and c) reach our future leaders who will better serve others with resilience and strong empathy skills.  

Below are supporting articles:

Mental Health in Schools

Mental Health in Schools and Public Health

The importance of Mental Health Awareness in Schools

6) Elaborate on the SEL part of PATH– the social/emotional skills?

Our curriculum's six essential lessons, or chapters, focus on social and emotional learning and include the mental health and suicide awareness/prevention component for which so many schools express a great need. In addition, schools planning to join the PATH multi-year curriculum plan will find expanded lessons regarding SEL content and skills, especially in light of Covid 19’s impact on students, their families, and every school’s need to change and adapt to meet their needs. Tasha and her team created a flexible program that is effective and offers depth, yet it is very easy to implement and customize to your situation. The curriculum builds on a foundation based on the acronym PATH (Purpose, Attitude, Team, and Hope), which includes resilience and empathy-building activities/assignments. Other big social and emotional learning topics include, but are not limited to: connectedness, emotional self-awareness/management, friendship analysis, making Kindness count, balancing emotional highs and lows, mindfulness techniques including the power of self-affirmation, and self-regulation for better decision making. Activities related to anxiety and depression are marked with special symbols when evidence-based research aligns with the PATH lesson.

Many of the SAVE, NAMI, and CDC endorsed activities are personalized with content based on Tasha's own challenges after an accident left her a quadriplegic. Resilience and adapting to change is not easy, but students can learn to build the skills necessary to face the unexpected and improve their social and emotional well-being in the process.

7) We don’t have time for another curriculum since our Health Education time is so limited. How can I fit your curriculum in? And Who should teach this?

Health educators and counselors with limited student contact time should consider, and discuss with your administration, the opportunity of teaming it with other regular-ed and alt-ed teachers. For example, schools often schedule enrichment time through interventions (RTI) and advisory periods. Quite often, teachers are asked to facilitate such student-contact time without a prescribed curriculum. Our curriculum could be implemented by: Counselors, Advisory teachers, Health Education instructors, Alt.Ed. teachers and paraprofessionals within any of these areas. In addition to public school staff, our curriculum could be implemented by any adult or trained/supervised Peer Leader with the mission to increase student understanding of mental/emotional health with targeted goals of improving SEL while decreasing suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. In the process, these facilitators will reinforce empathy, build resilience, and enlighten participants on the resources and help already available through social media, the CDC website, and other mental health advocates/resources. Our curriculum will stress connectedness as a preventative when faced with mental/emotional health challenges. Thus, small group implementation, like an advisory or enrichment period, works well. 

Any adult assigned to lead middle and high school level students, ideally within grade 6 - 12, as well as teachers/leaders, will find the curriculum a “ready to go” program. For example, teachers with classtime related to any of these topics will find the curriculum a valuable and engaging way to confront mental health and suicide awareness:

• Health education 

• Anti-bullying initiatives

• School counselors

• Homeroom teachers

• Character education

• Enrichment time

• Grade level leaders

• Alternative education initiatives

• Self-Advocacy

• Peer-to-peer or human relations

• ELA (many of the Bonus materials are readings and excerpts from Tasha Schuh’s books, with instructions on utilizing Readers Theater strategies)

• Science units related to the human body, psychology, or growth mindset.

8) How has this curriculum been tested in real classrooms?

This curriculum has been piloted by six schools, in a variety of ways, at various stages during its development. In addition, our local school district has teamed with us, including some of our "Contributors", (the Ellsworth Middle School counselor and teachers), to implement much of the curriculum with 7th and 8th graders within the two years of its development. Since PATH launched during our first year of the pandemic, many schools chose to wait until the start of the 2021-22 school year for implementation. These purchase schools have provided real-time feedback to the PATH contributors, and are helping Tasha and her team to enhance the program for the launch of the multi-year curriculum for the 2022-23 school year. In addition, Tasha has implemented many of the lessons through Breakout Sessions at multiple schools where she has spoken to middle and high school students.

Much of the research-based content came from CDC, NAMI, AFSP, Mentalhealth.gov and other reliable agencies endorsing PATH's goals and objectives. If needed before purchase, school districts are encouraged to request a full list of Resources-- the complete evidence-based bibliography included with our curriculum.

Simply email Tasha at [email protected] to request this.

9) What are the results of teaching this curriculum? 

The results from teaching the curriculum will be varied and ongoing as more districts commit to the depth and fidelity in the delivery of PATH. Speaking to the results from our pilots, our first purchase schools, and students, we can convey that the following is already evident:

• Students demonstrate kindness, compassion, and a clearer understanding of the facts regarding suicide awareness.

• Students develop a voice to talk openly about mental/emotional health concerns, including suicide.

• Students and teachers offer positive feedback in exit surveys when asked about the impact of Tasha’s PATH strategies. 

• Teachers from varied backgrounds say they are empowered by our content to initiate serious conversations about topics that are often difficult to facilitate. 

• Students spend more time, thought, and conversation with hands-on active and self-reflective experiences related to mental health challenges.

• PATH strategies provide facts and share CDC, NAMI and other professionally endorsed resources for the highest quality experiences in mental/emotional health education.

• Students broadcast the PATH messages of support and empathy via PATH school-wide activities and social media– samples of PATH promotion are in the curriculum.

• Schools use the Social Media resources to promote Tasha’s PATH concepts beyond the classroom walls. Numbers for Tasha’s YouTube Channel, Vlog, and other social media views have increased since PATH began. This can only help to reduce the stigma of mental health talk.

• Schools feel empowered to address the aftermath of a suicide in their schools. However, Tasha’s mission is that PATH is pro-actively implemented BEFORE a tragedy occurs.

10) How long is each of the six lessons?

Each of the six curriculum lessons is long enough to fill a traditional or advisory 20-50 minute class period, but includes bonus materials and extended projects to meet the needs of block scheduling. 

Flexible scheduling was a top priority for the PATH creators. Calendar recommendations are included within the purchase, and are currently being expanded to include the multi-year implementation of the Power of PATH.

11) What does the calendar for the lesson implementation look like?

PATH believes in flexible scheduling!  Teachers may apply the six PATH Year 1 Lessons to their calendars in a way that meets the time they have available within a given school year. (ie-one PATH lesson a week until all are completed; all six lessons within a school quarter; one lesson per month throughout the year… you choose). Sample calendars with lesson plan pacing are found in the Dashboard to guide your planning for individual pace and sequence.  

We assure schools that the six PATH lessons could be facilitated in as little as six days to implement the fundamental skills of Purpose, Attitude, Team, and Hope.  However, to benefit from other SEL strategies, we encourage instructors to use the vocabulary building lessons to learn the language of mental and emotional health.  And, we suggest you increase the depth of study by sharing linked readings and excerpts from Tasha Schuh’s books, as well as a feature called Check the Facts– all are “extras” within each lesson to enrich the fundamentals of PATH. The depth of each of the six lessons includes components for building resilience, practicing empathy, understanding the new National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, and other self care strategies so that students get the maximum benefit from PATH Year 1, and are ready for MSY2 (Middle School Year 2) or HSY2 (High School Year 2) PATH lessons. 

MSY2 and HSY2 are free of charge to all participating PATH schools!  Our team is working to create model calendars for these next levels, based upon feedback from participating schools.  Watch for these calendars to be added during the 2022-23 school year.

12) Earlier, you mentioned that PATH is Evidence-Based? Can you explain this?

Yes. PATH’s lessons use evidence-based content from multiple studies, alligning the curriculum lessons to provide the best practices related to SEL, CBT, and DBT therapies as well as SAVE, NAMI, and CDC endorsed interventions for suicide awareness. 

Here are some application examples:

In Lesson 5, PATH presents a student activity around the CDC Vital Signs Fact Sheet generated from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System’s (YRBSS) annual data. Student understanding of the YRBSS, a CDC survey implemented in most public schools throughout the country, is a core objective for PATH Lesson 5. 

In addition, PATH built lessons around evidence-based NAMI interventions (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to empower every student by having them add and carry the National Crisis Text number and suicide 1-800 Lifeline in their phones. 

PATH handouts titled, “Check the Facts,” (provided in each of the six PATH Lessons,) deliver even more of the evidence-based data researched by the CDC, NAMI, and other mental health advocates. (Please remember, you can always request a PATH source list for a full list of our evidence-based studies and scholarly sources* by contacting Tasha at [email protected]).

The University of Wisconsin-Stout, a leader in education for school counselors, provided a graduate assistant to align Path’s mission, content, and instructional strategies with evidence-based studies for SEL and suicide prevention strategies. All parts of the PATH acronym, all activities, and all assignments, (including project-based work as well as discussions and journaling), are developed from evidence-based therapeutic practices supported by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, including mindfulness and Journaling practices, the principal components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. 

PATH’s alignment with such evidence-based resources was immediately recognized and certified by SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). SAVE’s certification of PATH honors the evidence-based research that years of CBT/DBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) have revealed. 

Finally, Practice-Based Evidence allows for flexibility when implementing new approaches, like the PATH Program. Flexibility for each school / community / individual student is embedded in our approach. We like to say, “Flexibility with fidelity to the PATH Program” will meet your students’ needs.

In other words, PATH lessons provide the flexibility needed for each school district’s needs, whether that is suicide awareness, social and emotional learning, diversity and social justice concerns, or resilience for more vulnerable students identifying with LGBTQ communities. The PATH tools for resilience provide an opportunity for all students toward mindfulness and a more self-aware path in their own mental and emotional development.

13) Is there a Curriculum Handout available?

Yes! This curriculum handout includes pricing. It's the perfect tool for a teacher or counselor to print out or send to the school district’s decision-makers!


Please click here to download!


So-called “tried and true” methods of the past– used for suicide awareness and defeating the stigma that accompanies mental health– have not worked, or have not been implemented with enough fidelity. The PATH Program is our response to the overwhelming requests from schools and communities who heard our suicide awareness presentation and wanted more. They wanted something different. They wanted a voice their students could relate to. Tasha Schuh’s PATH Program is our comprehensive approach to answer this call for support.

*Resources

You may request our complete list of sources for the PATH Curriculum by emailing Tasha Schuh at [email protected]

CDC: CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report 2009-2019

page1image1152583072CDC: CDC Vital Signs: Suicide

DASH:CDC's Summary of Youth Surveillance Activities

NAMI: Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

Practice-Based Evidence: Practice-Based Evidence

SAVE: save.org