Again, Again, Again, Full-time Mental Health Professionals Belong in our Schools Now!

Blog post arguing for mental health professional in our schools.
     I posted yesterday for the first time in a long while.  I was prompted to write based on one boy's story, but also the nationwide recurring story of mass shootings in our schools.  Yesterday, I argued for full-time mental health professionals in schools.  I remember coming across a post in one of my feeds about how arming teachers would not have prevented the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Aurora, Colorado, or Orlando, among many other places, since they didn't occur in schools.  Again, I don't have answers, but I know what I live every day as a teacher.  Let's just take today.  As I carry out lessons, observations, and conversations with teachers, I am in and out of the office all day long.  This morning, being a Monday morning, our office was flooded with children having problems.  Why are Monday mornings particularly troublesome?  Students are returning to school after a whole weekend at home immersed in their tumultuous lives.  Many of them enter our building, not at all ready to learn, but in need of some support, some talk, some diffusing.  Who do you think did that job this morning?  Our principal.  Our principal spent the first three hours of her day working with children in crisis, providing them with some TLC, coaxing students to settle in, go to class, and do their best.  Our principal is not a trained mental health worker, but over the course of her career, she's picked up on several techniques she uses on a regular basis.  Fortunately, she is able to help students.  Luckily, she can make up the time needed to take care of her other principal responsibilities by staying late after hours since she doesn't have young children at home.  Again, we need full-time mental health professionals.  Again, again, again.  If we have them in our elementary schools, maybe we can service students in need early on and maybe this will make a difference in their lives. That is not to say that mental health workers shouldn't also be in junior highs and high schools.  Of course they should be. 
     There is so much strife everywhere we look.   We need to address this head-on, in proactive ways.  Many of our children are in crisis.  Look at the teen suicide rate.  Again, again, again, full-time mental health professionals.  This would certainly help the ten year old boy I wrote about yesterday.  Doesn't he deserve help?  What will be the cost to our society if he doesn't get that help?  What about the students in our building today?  If the principal hadn't been there, if she was at a training, for example, who would have helped our students this morning?  Having full-time mental health workers is part of a solution that would affect our society as a whole, not just school shootings, but potentially mass shootings, as well.


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