First installment of "The Mind Inside" is a gripping, sincere examination of mental health and public schools

First installment of "The Mind Inside" is a gripping, sincere examination of mental health and public schools

By Tyler Dahlgren

In concept, it doesn’t seem all too difficult, the life of a young student.

Wake up, brush your teeth, enjoy a hot and nutritious breakfast, swing your backpack around your shoulder and hop on the school bus, where dozens of smiling and friendly faces are merrily caroling “Wheels On The Bus”.

Life, however, is hardly ideal, and the notion that its hardships are felt only by adults is simply inaccurate.

In the first episode of their new docuseries titled “The Mind Inside”, Nebraska Loves Public Schools takes viewers on a thoughtful, 35-minute examination into the very real and unideal home lives of three Millard Middle School students, who overcome barriers every single day just to make it to the classroom.

“It’s a thoughtful look at what many students endure just to make it through the day,” said NCSA Ambassador and former Crete Public Schools superintendent Kyle McGowan. “School is important and undoubtedly provides support and stability for many children who lack such basic needs in their home lives.”

The film, which is set for a full-release on January 18th, will spark conversations. First, from educators who can easily relate to the on-screen subjects, the three extremely bright, disadvantaged students, and the incredibly helpful and attentive school social worker, Eric Depue, whose care for his students you can feel through the screen.

“The end goal is to graduate and get an education,” Depue says in the film. “Most kids don’t have a lot of barriers or obstacles. I deal with the kids that have a moat they have to get across.”

Depue’s commitment to guiding his students around existing obstacles mirrors that of public schools in Nebraska, and “The Mind Inside” highlights that intent in a gripping and sincere fashion.

And, secondly, the docuseries will spark discussion from those outside of the education arena, who will get to feel what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of a young person whose path to success isn’t a straight-shot, walk-in-the-park, but rather a tricky and winding road to navigate.

“This is not a film about excuses,” said NCSA Ambassador Dr. Keith Rohwer, a retired superintendent. “This is a film about our kids and the personal conflicts they deal with each and every day. It truly takes a team effort, as described in the film, to make a difference.”

Schools do what they can with the limited resources available, and as mental health continues to garner more and more consideration, the way schools approach the delicate subject will continue to evolve.

“The film is right on target for bringing to light very accurately the mental health and behavioral issues that are in public schools today,” said Dr. Cinde Wendell, an NCSA Ambassador and former school superintendent. “It highlights the challenges schools must address as school professionals attempt to provide interventions to deliver a brighter future for each student.”

“The Mind Inside” is a courageous project from Nebraska Loves Public Schools, and its first installment is done in the most-sincere way; through the eyes of three middle school students.

“Like all films from Nebraska Loves Public Schools, “The Mind Inside” is important and timely, a genuine look at an emerging topic that deserves the consideration and attention of public school leaders, educators and stakeholders across the state,” said NCSA Executive Director Dr. Mike Dulaney.

The lives of our young students are much more complex than what they may show on the surface suggests. For many more children than you’d think, it takes courage just to take on every day, and that’s the message shining through “The Mind Inside”.

“School is the one constant in the life of a student,” said Rohwer. “In that constant, they will find love, support, encouragement, warmth, safety, personal care, meals and consistency of expectations. The ingredients to help them move forward and become proud of who they are in life.”

For many kids, school is a lot closer to home than you’d think.

To get your tickets for one of the four scheduled premieres, Click Here!