DPS #170 Launches Safe2Help Illinois

Dixon Public School District #170 TO PARTICIPATE IN NEW STATEWIDE SCHOOL SAFETY PROGRAM

Margo Empen

January 12, 2021

Student safety has always been paramount to our mission at Dixon Public School District #170. Three years ago, we launched a Safe Schools app that allowed students the opportunity to anonymously report bullying, harassment or threats to schools or people.  This is one way our students can help to inform us of issues so we can address them immediately.  This semester our school district will begin participating in a new statewide school safety program called Safe2Help Illinois. I will be coordinating this district initiative and I wanted to share information about Safe2Help Illinois. This program will offer students a safe and confidential way to share information that may help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence, and other threats to student safety. The program also includes an educational curriculum aimed at fostering a culture of kindness, as well as resources for educators and parents to reinforce the program concepts with their students. 

COVID-19 has changed the world we live in and we see that each and every day in our schools, our community and throughout our state.  We want to continue to provide every available resource to help our parents, teachers, students and staff as we continue to navigate this COVID-19 environment and beyond. 

Safe2Help Illinois features a 24/7 helpline (1-844-4-SAFEIL), free mobile app, and dedicated website (www.Safe2HelpIL.com). Students can use Safe2Help Illinois to share concerns about themselves or others in a confidential environment.  Once vetted, the information will be immediately shared with local school officials, mental health professionals, and/or local law enforcement, depending on the nature of the tip. It is important to note that this program is not intended to punish students. Rather, the intent is to encourage students to “seek help before harm,” with the goal of intervening and helping students before they harm themselves or others.

Click on this link to be taken to an informational video on Safe2Help:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq3Rdb0YXcg

As of January 12, 2021, all reporting programs (helpline, mobile app, email, and web reporting) are available to be used by our community. You can find a link for Safe2Help Illinois at the top of our webpage (www.dps170.org)

Long-term goals of Safe2Help Illinois are to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues, promote a culture of kindness, and instill important lessons such as the difference between telling and tattling, internet safety, and suicide prevention.

Please click on the Safe2Help link (https://www.safe2helpil.com/) to learn more about this program.  We will continue to provide additional information in the weeks to come.  Students will also be given promotional items to remind them of this safety resource as their fingertips. 

Sincerely,

Margo Empen - Superintendent