Health and Wellness Club

Featuring Poughkeepsie City School District

Poughkeepsie Middle School has partnered with Mental Health America of Dutchess County to create a Health and Wellness Club for students.  A place where students have an opportunity to:

  • reset when feeling stressed
  • practice skills to regulate emotion, cope with stress, communicate more effectively and manage anger
  • participate in bereavement groups and after school programming

The Health and Wellness Club launched in the summer of 2019 in connection with My Brother’s Keeper and Poughkeepsie Middle School Learning Academy; 204 students visited the wellness room 292 times. During the 2019-2020 school year, before students switched to virtual learning, there were 2,344 visits during the school day and 562 visits to the after-school program.  

To learn more, watch our School Shorts recording with Mario Johnson, Community Schools Administrator, Poughkeepsie City School District and Marlene Taylor, Education and Training Coordinator, at Mental Health America of Dutchess County. 

Health and Wellness Club was recorded on November 20, 2020.

Marlene Taylor shares a few words about the MHA staff working in the Poughkeepsie Middle School Health and Wellness Club.  

“The team members provided the students with opportunities to explore differences and find new ways to get along with others, and acquire vital skills to make informed safe decisions. The team also created a safe and nurturing environment which assisted the students of Poughkeepsie Middle School to develop socially and emotionally.  Our team leaders were Allyssa Williams, Anne Walsh, Cindy Gonzalez, Clyde King and Renee Boyd.  I could not have worked with a more caring team of people, and I sincerely thank them for sharing their gifts and talents with the students.”

Additional information and resources:

This article from Thriving Schools provides advice and strategies for transforming school break-rooms into inviting spaces focusing on staff wellness and social-emotional health. Strategies are provided in this printable document.

One of the activities conducted in Poughkeepsie Middle School’s Health and Wellness Club was a bereavement support group. This article from details the importance of attending to grief and loss, and includes an overview of multiple sessions of a bereavement support group. 

For more information contact:
Mario Johnson at

Translate »