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What do you know about the Mental Health in Schools
Old 12-04-2015, 06:56 PM
 
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Act of 2013? Have your schools changed services because of that Act? Do you have licensed mental health workers on your campus?

Before 2013, we had licensed psychologists in our district on payroll to work with kids. They really only worked with serious mental health issues. I'm totally for the idea of servicing mental health in the schools in a more aggressive way. I think the Act was originally proposed as a response to school shootings and other aggressive acts from students who needed mental health support they weren't getting outside of school settings.

Today, we were having a discussion about where the line is with serving kids with severe mental health issues in the school setting. I think we can't really teach kids before we meet their mental health needs, but I also wonder what the school day really should look like for kids with really serious needs. Missing core classes? Missing electives they might actually enjoy and excel at? How do we balance educational needs with mental health needs? A whole different school schedule? Just thoughts I'm pondering on a Friday evening!


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mental health services in schools
Old 12-04-2015, 08:54 PM
 
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I think that having staff who can counsel in the schools is fine (e.g., school psychs, counselors), but some kids have serious mental health issues. These are medical conditions and I think it goes beyond what the school should provide. I know that's not the case, but when a child is hallucinating at school or wants to commit suicide, that child needs something more than some solution-focused counseling.

I almost feel like the education system it taking on too much. Not only do we have to teach academics, we are also now on the hook for mental health.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:11 PM
 
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I used to strongly feel that way, too. But I think more and more, I've seen that kids with serious mental health issues *aren't* getting them met outside of school, no matter how much we recommend or try to help them find resources. Having spend a little time working in the clinical world now, I realize how many kids aren't receiving services because of lack of parental resources or follow-through. It scares me that these kids are going through life without getting help, so I think it makes sense to reach them at the one place most of them attend (school).

I do hate the idea of school being "responsible" for the mental health of their students, but I like the idea of services being offered at school. But I do believe those services should be provided by qualified individuals (e.g., not state certified school psychs or counselors, but licensed professionals who specialize in the more intense and chronic mental health issues). I don't like the idea of schools shouldering the "blame" should things go wrong.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:14 PM
 
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I will work with students to help develop skills that will help them cope or become a more productive student. If they have severe mental health issues, I will give a referral to pants. I am only trained to a certain level and it would be unprofessional to try to do more than I am licensed to do.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
I am only trained to a certain level and it would be unprofessional to try to do more than I am licensed to do.
I completely agree and I'm definitely not suggesting any unlicensed professionals step above their training to offer those types of services. The Act offers money to districts who use licensed professionals to do that additional counseling. Does your district employ any licensed professionals under this Act? I'm curious because I don't hear of many districts doing this.


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Old 12-06-2015, 04:43 AM
 
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I am going to say no because before this post I was not aware of this Act. We are lucky to have school counselors at the schools.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:36 AM
 
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Yeah, I'm realizing that not many people have heard of it. I know my schools in Hawai'i were looking to take advantage of it, but they already had clinical psychologists on staff who they could bill for. They didn't provide many services though. For one, it seemed to be more of a "cush" job and he rarely showed up for work.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:27 AM
 
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My school is quite fortunate in this area. We have me--a school counselor, school psych for testing, and 4 mental health counselors.
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