Posterized at PCM

Mental health is stressed in schools all over Iowa. This year at PCM High School, new posters have appeared in the halls throughout the school year with messages like “don’t suffer in silence” and the like. The main theme is reaching out if someone has a mental health issue in their life.
PCM High School principal Kristen Souza addressed the origin of the signs.
“We have been working on those signs as a staff since last summer,” Souza said. “Kurt Slater, who works with Joe Beckman, worked with us on the signs. He works with schools on things like expectations, what we want our school to look like and making learning accessible for all students. The expectations are for students and staff members alike.”
Joe Beckman is a motivational speaker known for speaking in schools all over the United States. He has been at PCM twice over the past two school years. After the staff members met with Slater, they got together with a poster company to make posters.
“After we gathered our ideas, Kurt put me in touch with a poster company,” Souza explained. “They put all our ideas together and made the signs that are all over the halls now.”
Starting the week of March 24, red posters appeared in every classroom at PCM. Teachers all knew they were coming and simply hung them where students would see them. The words they focus on are positive, contributing and motivating.
“Positive, contributing and motivating is an acronym for PCM,” Souza explained. “That is what we are expecting. Starting next school year, we will start to explain that more.”
Kristen Burghorn, the business and computer applications teacher at PCM, was part of the process of making the signs over the summer. She also liked the other mental health signs around the school that do not say “positive, contributing and motivating” on them.
“I like having all the posters around,” Burghorn said. “I love all the support they provide. It is great for students to see that they are not alone. The messages on the signs have a good variety as well.”
The main purpose of all the signs are to show students that they are not alone. That is important because students need to know that teachers care about them.
“When students leave here, what’s not necessarily important is that they know chemistry or english,” Souza explained. “It’s that they can go out and be successful. But in that, they should be good people who contribute to society.”