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Peabody

New program to address mental health issues in Peabody in wake of pandemic

The Peabody Education Foundation is launching an initiative to help meet the mental health needs of students, teachers, and parents in the city’s public schools.

Through the program, which extends to the end of the school year, the nonprofit will be providing reading materials, speakers, and other resources to help the schools address mental health issues that have escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through Social Emotional Libraries — the kick-off phase of the program — the foundation in March will be distributing motivational books to all of Peabody’s elementary schools, to be overseen by each building’s guidance counselor.

The foundation is undertaking the overall project in partnership with North Shore Bank, the J.B. Thomas-Lahey Foundation, and the Gra-Voc Charitable Foundation.

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Expressing appreciation for the initiative,

“The past two years have taken an incredible toll on our students, staff, and families, Superintendent Joshua Vadala said in a statement. “Supporting mental health in our schools and community is a critical need.”

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.