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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

May 07, 2018

Office of Mental Health Recognizes Niagara County School Superintendent

Superintendent Mark Laurrie Honored for Being a Champion for his Community and Promoting Mental Wellness Within the Niagara Falls School District

Albany, NY – Mark Laurrie - the Superintendent of the Niagara Falls School District - has been honored at the New York State Office of Mental Health’s "What’s Great in our State 2018". The annual event, held May 8 in Albany, celebrates the people and programs making a difference in the field of children’s mental health.

Laurrie has served as superintendent of the Niagara Falls School District since 2016. Among his many accomplishments is the introduction of several wellness initiatives to the school district, including Mental Health First Aid and Drug/Opiate Use Prevention. He also works to build and strengthen partnerships with multiple external organizations and agencies to promote cross-systems collaboration.

“Mr. Laurrie is a perfect example of how a single, dedicated individual can promote collaboration and wellness initiatives for an entire community. He is making a profound impact on children and families in the Niagara Falls district through his partnerships and mental health education initiatives,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan. “We thank Superintendent Laurrie and each of our honorees for their hard work and commitment to children’s mental health.”

Laurrie was nominated for being a champion for the Niagara Falls community, consistently engaging with the students and families in his district, and striving to ensure his efforts are data informed and sustainable.

“The Niagara Falls City School District is proud to collaborate with all our partners who work with us on addressing student mental, socio-emotional, and physical health. It is not only important to enable academic achievement within our schools, it’s important because this community is my life-long home,” said Superintendent Mark Laurrie of the Niagara Falls School District.  “Mental Health First Aid, Opiate Prevention and Narcan training, responsible health behavior education, and the Mobile Health Van - these are all things our community needs. I am honored to be recognized for doing my part, but the real reward is a healthier student body and community.”

For more information on the Niagara Falls School district visit www.nfschools.net.

 ‘What’s Great in Our State’

‘What’s Great in Our State’ is an annual event hosted by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the New York State Council on Children and Families, and a number of children’s mental health advocacy organizations in order to celebrate the individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children’s mental health in New York State. The event features a reading of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement proclaiming the week as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a ceremony recognizing our honorees, and an art show featuring artwork created by children receiving services from New York State’s mental health system. This year’s event will also feature two keynote speakers and a moderated round-table discussion featuring the awardees.

The event coincides with Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a national movement that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and to show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth.

For more information on the partners involved with this year’s ‘What’s Great in Our State’ event, visit https://conta.cc/2ppIfwS.


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