Why a Focus on Mental Health Is Essential for Students Returning to School in the Fall, Experts Say
September 03, 2021
School districts across the country are increasing support for student mental health this fall. To help students cope with stress and trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are preparing a variety of measures for their return to the classroom. These include focusing on social emotional learning, adding counselors and social workers, and allowing excused absences for mental health. Some states and communities are using federal pandemic relief money to fund these efforts. In Iowa, for example, the department of education is launching a school mental health center that will provide education and resources to help pre-K through 12 schools increase mental health supports. Experts say the increased attention to student mental health is much needed and should be sustained long-term. “We don’t need to focus on student mental health just because of COVID,” said Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, director of policy and advocacy for the National Association of School Psychologists. “The need has always been there; as a nation, we are finally paying attention to it.”
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