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In support of the previous comment submitted by the school nurse:
Throughout today's discussion about the best use of "mental health dollars" I have heard guests and callers advocate for more money spent in the community for early intervention and prevention. I am a middle school teacher in a rural district who started teaching when there was at least a part time counselor for students with emotional and mental difficulties at all grade levels. I have watched as budget woes have resulted in a continual cut of mental health services until we have nothing. Many mental health difficulties manifest in the teen years. Teachers generally have enough training to recognize the possibility of the need for mental health intervention, but if there is no budget for a professional on staff or on contract with the school district, it is very difficult to suggest that parents or guardians seek help for their child on their own; especially if that means seeking assistance from a county health department 30 miles from their rural home. Where is the will to walk the talk of early intervention if the educational community is not able to support a counselor?
Please check with your school district. Are there professionals available to help children with emerging mental health issues? If not, why not? Have the teachers had training to help them recognise and refer students for help? Is this a budget issue that your school board should hear about?
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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