This question was from the student-led forum: What is your plan for furthering mental health services in DCSD?
When I talk about why I am running for school board, I always lead with ensuring we have safe and welcoming schools. In order for students to thrive and learn, we need this foundation in place.
The prevalence of mental health concerns is truly concerning. While this is a societal issue, our schools are on the front-line in helping and partnering with other agencies to help address:
- 1 in 4 adults have a mental health concern
- 1 in 5 youth age 13-18 years old
- 50% of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14
- 50% of students age 14 and older with a mental disorder drop out of high school
- ⅔ of youth with mental disorders do not receive treatment
- 90% of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders
- Colorado has the highest rate of youth suicide in the nation
What has been done so far?
- Thanks to the local MLO override dollars passed last year, for the first time in its history, DCSD has a school counselor in every elementary school.
- The DCSD Strategic Plan includes:
What can be done?
- Include a more comprehensive response to mental health tips when they come through Text-a-tip or Safe2Tell.
- Fund assessments in each school in order to understand strengths, needs and gaps in mental health and student safety.
- Fund programming including social emotional learning, mental health services, and suicide prevention and intervention, that is supported by the assessments.
- Reducing the stigma of mental health.
- Train staff and SROs on trauma informed curriculum and practices.
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