Attitudes In Reverse or AIR® offers a comprehensive mental health plan to educate youth, from elementary level through college-age. AIR's programs are wrapped in messages of understanding, empathy and kindness towards all. At AIR, we believe that good mental health programming makes the best anti-bullying and suicide prevention plans. Breaking down stigma allows AIR to help identify youth who are at risk. Programs are also available for parents, teachers and all school staff. Certified AIR Dogs, therapy dogs, accompany all program presenters.
Attitudes In Reverse® is partnering with The College of New Jersey's Testing and Assessment in Psychology Lab. AIR®
is grateful to the staff and students at the TAPlab who are performing an evidence-based program evaluation of AIR®'s programs.
Coming Up for AIR® Student Presentation Program
The AIR® student presentation is mental health education geared towards students, middle school through college age. It is a peer-led multi-modal presentation: PowerPoint, video, interactive discussion. It can be 45 to 60 minutes, depending upon class length, and can be offered during Physical Education, Health, Science, Social Studies/Humanities classes. The presentation can be delivered to individual classes, as well as a full auditorium of students. It is also available and recommended for Parent-Teacher-Student Associations and parent-only audiences. Click for more information
AIR® Awareness Outreach
Attitudes In Reverse® volunteers attend many different types of events to help start conversations about good mental health. These can be college health fairs, local community events, state mental health conferences and Supernatural conventions. Since therapy dogs are involved in our non-profit, we often find ourselves at dog events, where people normally do not talk about mental health or suicide. Click for more information. The coming up for AIR Student Presentation Program has a response rate of 35% of students ask for help after the presentation.
We could not accomplish our goals without the kindness and support of our Sustaining Sponsors. Thank you!
Latest Updates :
- PRINCETON, NJ, September 21, 2023 – Throughout her career, Nikki Casey has been dedicated to helping improve children’s mental wellbeing. She worked as a psychiatric screener, in inpatient and therapeutic after-school programs and with Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, and has served as a social worker in the West New York School District since February…Read More »
Attitudes In Reverse® Honors Maria Petsos, BCBA, LDT/C, District Supervisor of Special Education, Ewing Public Schools, as Partner in HopePRINCETON, NJ, September 17, 2023 – In late 2021, Maria Petsos, BCBA, LDT/C, District Supervisor of Special Education, Ewing Public Schools, recognized early the impact that COVID and the isolation of the lockdowns were going to have on her students. She reached out to Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR®) to access AIR’s K-12 mental wellness programs,…Read More »
Attitudes In Reverse® Honors Robert Garofalo, PhD(c), West Windsor Police Chief, as Champion of HopeAttitudes In Reverse® Honors Robert Garofalo, PhD(c), West Windsor Police Chief, as Champion of Hope PRINCETON, NJ, September 5, 2023 – Throughout his 35-year career in law enforcement, Robert Garofalo, PhD(c),Chief of Police, West Windsor Township Police Department, witnessed many young people losing their lives to suicide. “I wanted to be part of the…Read More »
- Attitudes In Reverse team members are excited to announce our newest addition to the AIR Board of Directors, Cheryl Finger. Cheryl was raised in the North Jersey village of Ridgewood and attended Ridgewood High School with a specialty in occupational graphics. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from School of Visual Arts in NYC while studying…Read More »
- Two Years…. by Erin Popolo, Community Student Advocate and AIR's 2022 Partner in Hope Honoree As we come upon the two-year mark of the death of my daughter, I have learned so much… I have learned about myself, I have learned about the strength and kindness and resilience my daughter displayed daily, I have learned…Read More »
Presentations to Date
It was such a wonderful visit! Just taking the dogs to the office, we were stopped multiple times by students and adults in the building who just lit up and asked to pet them. The students were so excited to see the dogs and were so amazed that we were able to have them in the school for them.
One young man said “This is the only time you will see my sensitive side – when I am with animals, I am happy.” Another student came back to our office upset later in the day and said she had been having a really rough day but when she came during lunch and saw the dogs, they made her feel calm and happy and she was okay to make it through most of her day. Our staff members said it was like a gift for them to have the dogs in the office during the day – they said they thought is meant as much to them as it did to the students. Our principal said she wants the dogs here all of the time!
I have such a strong connection to these animals and I truly believe they positively affect people of all ages. They seem to have an innate sense and so many of our students truly come alive when interacting with the dogs. They truly are furry little healers. Thank you again for coming to our school and sharing. So many students came to my office to tell me how much they loved the program and how hearing Kenny’s story moved them. Keep doing what you are doing. It helps so many.
It is I who should be thanking you! The presentation brought a few students to Guidance, all of whom decided it was time to talk. We took it one step further with one senior girl who is having suicide ideations. She will be getting treatment immediately.
During my time as Executive Director of the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma, I personally witnessed the power of the AIR program, and its positive impact on young people. It was palpable, it was real, and there is no doubt in my mind that it made a difference in the lives of every participant, not just students, but parents and faculty as well.
Attitudes In Reverse® has provided our students with a most important resource. Due to the work of the AIR volunteers, our students know that they are not alone. They learn that the stigma associated with mental illness need not close them off from normal functioning….from happiness. There are people out there who will listen and help them when all seems lost. AIR tells them that they can…that they deserve the help they need.
Mrs. Baker has related to me emails from our students thanking them for opening their eyes to the resources available, and perhaps more importantly, how to be that good listener for others. We hope to continue our relationship with AIR in the future for the benefit of our students.