Heroes for Health: Natosha Harris

This spotlight series is designed to profile members of the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health. Over the coming months, the series will feature individual Collaborative members, each of whom is integral to the group’s efforts to forge stronger connections and establish new approaches to strengthen the social and emotional development of our children.

This series is an opportunity to highlight and recognize the diverse individuals, services and resources available to the Racine community.

Who: Natosha Harris, Director of School Climate and Student Support at Racine Unified School District

Website: http://www.racine.k12.wi.us

Email: natosha.harris@rusd.org

Phone: 262-631-7190

Twitter: @RacineUnified

About RUSD: With approximately 21,000 students, RUSD is the fourth largest school district in the state of Wisconsin. The district has 21 elementary schools including 3 magnet elementary schools, 7 middle schools including 1 magnet middle school and 1 charter middle school, and 6 high schools including 1 magnet high school, and 1 charter high school. Racine Unified features rigorous academics and strong programming in the fine arts, foreign language, school-to-career, physical education, technology, and other electives. The RUSD mission is to educate every student to succeed.”


Words from Natosha, a Hero for Health:

I first began working with children at Milwaukee County Bureau for Child Welfare and have since known that helping children is what I most love to do. Once in the educational field, where I worked for various programs such as Head Start, I immediately saw the need to equip our teachers with additional resources to address the deep-rooted mental health challenges that too many of our students face.

When it comes to addressing children’s mental health needs, I believe awareness of the issue is among the biggest challenges we face. Teachers and parents are in need of additional resources and tools to more readily identify some of the early behavioral signs that indicate a child is struggling with a mental health issue at home or in the classroom.

Fostering greater understanding of the issue presents an enormous opportunity for parents and teachers to work together to intervene earlier and provide appropriate care or assistance with developmental skills – before a child’s undiagnosed mental health challenges set them back in school or cause them unnecessary suffering.

The Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health is doing phenomenal work in promoting a community-wide conversation about mental health. Our work to increase mental health literacy is going to help everyone – teachers, judges and parents across our classrooms, courtrooms and living rooms – but most importantly, it is going to help children across our community.

I’m encouraged by our work to date and look forward to engaging the community further in our efforts.

See all Heroes