McKenzie Harrington-Bacote Works to Prevent Substance Misuse and Address Behavioral Health and Wellness for Students
Senator Hassan and McKenzie Harrington-Bacote at Pleasant Street School in Laconia
WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan announced today that she will host McKenzie Harrington-Bacote of Plymouth as her guest of honor for President Trump’s State of the Union Address on January 30th in Washington, D.C. McKenzie works as the Program Administrator for the Office of School Wellness in the Laconia School District, focusing on preventing substance misuse and addressing students’ behavioral health and wellness.
As Senator Hassan’s guest, McKenzie will join the Senator in the House Chamber for the State of the Union address. Senator Hassan met McKenzie while visiting the Laconia School District earlier this month to discuss the importance of the District’s innovative efforts to prevent substance misuse and address students’ behavioral health and wellness.
“From implementing evidence-based prevention curriculums to providing access to group and individual supports to help students cope with anxiety and stress, McKenzie has helped the Laconia School District become a model for supporting students impacted by the substance misuse crisis and addressing students’ overall behavioral health,” Senator Hassan said. “I am inspired by McKenzie’s innovative approach and grateful for her commitment to strengthening the health and well-being of young people in Laconia and across New Hampshire, and I will continue to support her efforts.”
“I am honored to be Senator Hassan’s guest for the State of the Union and to highlight our efforts in the Laconia School District to prevent substance misuse and address the behavioral health and wellness of our students,” McKenzie Harrington-Bacote of Laconia School District Office of School Wellness said. “Far too many students across New Hampshire are feeling the impact of the opioid crisis that’s plaguing our state, and I am thankful to have a leader like Senator Hassan working hard every day to ensure that educators have the resources we need to support our students and build a healthier school environment.”
The Laconia School District used Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants to hire mental health clinicians, a drug and alcohol counselor, school-based social workers, and a health and wellness training coordinator. Laconia students are learning from evidence-based prevention curriculums, have access to group interventions such as Anxiety and Stress Management, and the most at-risk students receive individual, intensive supports.
Senator Hassan has been pushing for $25 billion in additional funding to combat the opioid crisis to be included in the long-term funding bill that’s currently being negotiated. This funding would support opioid treatment efforts through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Medicare and Medicaid.