Advertisement

Op-ed: The importance of mental health in schools

May 17, 2013|By Ani Harutyunyan

More than a month after the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., mental health professionals stated that psychological disorders often emerge before people enter high school; however, only a small percentage of students ever receives necessary intervention or treatment.

This is due to lack of knowledge and failure to recognize symptoms. The mass shootings in recent years have raised a debate about gun control and mental health, including a push by President Barack Obama for stronger gun controls and better mental health training for schools and communities.

Since school professionals often lack fundamental evidence-based knowledge and skills to recognize and intervene with students at risk for mental illness, it is important to better prepare all school-based personnel to effectively face the mental health challenges of today’s youth.

Advertisement

A proposed piece of legislation called the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013 was assigned to a congressional committee on Jan. 15 and was introduced in the House of Representatives by Ron Barber (D-Tucson, Ariz.). This legislation would provide critical resources to train teachers and school administrators, police officers, faith community leaders and nurses, as well as students and their parents, to help identify the warning signs of mental illness and treat people suffering from psychological disorders before they damage or destroy other lives. By providing resources to train our school officials, law enforcement professionals and emergency personnel how to recognize and refer people with mental health issues, the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013 will increase the health and safety of our communities.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles
|
|
|