Identifying a mental health or behavioral issue in a child is challenging, given the many physical, mental, and emotional changes that occur as part of their natural development. Since children spend half of their waking day in the classroom, schools are uniquely positioned to help a child experiencing a mental health or behavioral issue to receive needed services. However, many teachers do not know how to access information and resources or how to communicate these with families.
There are a multitude of resources available for teachers and school staff to help them play an active role in supporting positive student mental health and behavior. For example, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction offers several tools and resources to address student mental health and behavior issues and is working with partner organizations across the state to realize these efforts. With these resources, teachers can effectively advocate for a student’s mental health and behavioral needs by working with their school support professionals (e.g., nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists and school resource officers) and parents.
What Can you Do?
As part of our 2014 program of work on building a quality workforce, we hosted a webinar with K-5 teachers, school support professionals and parents to discuss the challenges of childhood mental health, and behavioral issues in their communities.
Anita Herron, Parent, and SEARCH Family Support Program Advocate
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