Attitudes In Reverse® Volunteer Rebecca McLelland-Crawley
to Be Honored with Ambassador Award
PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (March 25, 2018) – Rebecca McLelland-Crawley, EdD, a National Board Certified Teacher at Community Middle School in Plainsboro, NJ was selected by the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma to receive an Ambassador Award. As this year’s theme for the Ambassador Awards is recognizing school-based professionals, Dr. McLelland-Crawley was nominated by Tricia Baker, YMHFA, Co-Founder and Program Director of Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™), a Princeton, NJ based nonprofit that aims to save lives through mental-health and suicide-prevention education. Dr. McLelland-Crawley will receive the Ambassador Award at the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma’s annual awards ceremony on April 19, 2018 at 11:15 a.m. at the Ramada Plaza Conference Center, Monroe Township, NJ.
“As part of a classroom activity three years ago, Rebecca asked her gifted students to write on the classroom whiteboard things they wish their teacher knew. Many of these things focused on the notion of high stress and a seeming lack of social-emotional support. What was a simple self-advocacy activity blossomed into a movement in our town, in our state and worldwide,” Baker wrote in the nomination. “Rebecca connected her students and the community with AIR and other community mental health advocacy groups to help break down the stigma attached to supporting mental health. Both she and her students have presented at numerous local and state workshops to share their perspectives on adolescent mental health. The students were featured on local news in Princeton and in a special interest story on student stress by Al Jazeera Network. Her students not only won first place for their efforts at the state bowl for Future Problem Solvers, but also were International Champions on the topic of mental health with their project of spreading mindfulness throughout the world. The website they created to teach others is nuyuchallenge.weebly.com.”
“Their reach has been vast, including working with students and teachers in New Jersey, throughout the county and even globally with weekly virtual sessions with a school in Spain. They continue now as a club at High School North where Rebecca serves as their advisor. Using her social media platform to educate the larger community, Rebecca has become a recognized resource and advocate for good mental health in our state and beyond,” Baker added.
“As a teacher, my goal is to nurture the whole child. We have to put Maslow before Bloom in order to fully support our students,” Dr. McLelland-Crawley said, referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Bloom's taxonomy of the different levels of thinking. “We can't expect higher level thinking to take place when a child is in crisis.”
“I work closely with AIR because all students need to understand that there is no stigma to mental health. I am truly honored to be recognized for my contribution to supporting our students and as an ambassador of mental health,” Dr. McLelland-Crawley said. She is a Past President of the Biology Teachers Association of New Jersey (BTANJ); member of the Alliance for Excellent Education Project; BTANJ Liaison to the New Jersey Department of Education Office of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); New Jersey Math and Science Coalition Board of Governors; and National Board Certification Candidate Support Facilitator.