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Shrewsbury Schools Address Mental Health Issues 'More Than Others'

There is an increase in mental health issues among students.

Shrewsbury school officials are attempting to address problems such as anxiety and depression in a response to the significant increase in mental health issues among students, said the Boston Globe.

School Committee Chairwoman Erin Canzano told the Globe, “It became even more evident during this school year that children are dealing with more significant mental illnesses than ever before."

Since there are no state guidelines helping to define mental health for schools, Shrewsbury, and other districts, are finding a way to address it. An approach often used, reported the Globe, is the wraparound support approach, where professionals who get to know the schools can be called upon for support.

Though struggling with finances, Shrewsbury is reportedly "doing more than most" to address the mental health issues that arise. Melissa Maguire, director of special education and pupil personnel for Shrewsbury schools, told the Globe that the real increase in mental health issues started to show in 2010.

 

 

Yes, it is true that in general depression and anxiety is on the increase among teens across the US. I learned about these issues after attending a Mental Health Summit at Clark University this week. Another issue is the increase of teens abusing prescription drugs such as pain and stimulant medications. The City of Worcester received a grant to do research this area. Despite the statistics, parents needs to be educated on how to identify and refer their teens for counseling. Also, the Shrewsbury School District may want to look into getting funding for offering a free course to their staff called "Mental Health First Aid." The Worcester School District received funding to educate their school staff on how to provide comfort and to preserve life for teens and children having a mental health crisis. While the need for counseling is there for teens and children, the problem is the shortage of mental health professionals. Due to low pay and lack of adequate reimbursements for burdensome paperwork requirements, many clinicians like myself have our own private practices as opposed to working for area agencies.
Steve Whiz May 04, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Why should a public school 'address anxiety and depression'? While our hearts go out to any child with a problem, the role of public schools is to educate. Diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues is best addressed by medical professionals.

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