: Educators prepare for the back-to school mental health crisis
Public schools will add mental health personnel and “therapeutic support classes” next month to handle the expected flood of depressed and anxious students who return from two years of online learning. According to Burbio, this tracking site Burbio.
Burbio reported a rise in school budget tracking data for k -12 as districts get ready to start their first year of learning in person since the pandemic.
Virginia Spotsylvania County Public Schools will be adding five school psychologists to the team and four employees who are full-time for wellness and health services.
Massachusetts’ Fall River Public Schools has added a director for SEL and Mental Health Services, SEL Integration Specialist, Lead Family Engagement Specialist, and Movement Therapist to help “launchpad” to grow the number of trained mental health professionals .”
Idaho’s Post Fall School district has allocated funds for a “therapeutic support class.” South Carolina’s Beaufort County Schools District also created a virtual calming room with links to exercises and yoga, animal videos, puzzles and emergency hotline resources.
California-based psychologist Thomas Plante is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He welcomes the resources because they are necessary for teachers and parents feeling overwhelmed by school closings.
“Teachers can also be trained in first aid for mental disorders. However, many issues and difficulties are beyond their abilities and not enough mental health professionals are available to help all. Mr. Plante stated this in an email.
A Santa Clara University psychologist said that divisive politics and climate change anxiety have contributed to an increasing youth mental health crisis. This “may continue long after the pandemic .”
Both the APA (American surgeon general) and the U.S. Surgeon General have warned about the crisis over the past months.
Burbio stated Sunday that schools will increase their salaries and bonus payments this fall in order to meet an ever-present shortage of teachers and bus drivers. Many of these people have resigned or quit during the pandemic.
Texas’ Cypress-Fairbanks Independent Schools District approved increases in compensation for support and paraprofessional staff. Its teachers will get a 3.9% raise, and its administrators will be given a 2.6% increase.
Cypress-Fairbanks budgeted an additional $15million to hire paraprofessionals, teachers, and a $6.2 million for hiring elementary and middle-school behavioral interventionists as well as testing coordinators.
“In an age of rising inflation and mental health issues for children, it’s a relief that school districts give extra compensation to schools,” stated Laura Linn Knight from Arizona, a parenting coach.
Dr. William Schaffner is an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He said that the COVID residual effect keeps students home causes “terrific turmoil” and anxiety for many.
It is the best way to avoid school closings in future, he said.
” We have large numbers of unvaccinated children. “I hope that parents will agree to routine and COVID vaccines when their children return to school next month,” said Dr. Schaffner.
For more information visit The Washington Times COVID -19 resource site.