Mental health: The community must make a difference for students | News, Sports, Jobs


When the senses. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., and Joe Manchin, DW.Va., announced earlier this week that more than $5.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education is coming to West Virginia to support school mental health services, that was good news indeed.

Our schools are being asked to do much more than what teachers and administrators were asked to do several years ago. And as mental health issues have only increased for students, it’s important that schools also have the resources they need to address them.

“Safe and healthy learning environments are essential for our youth in West Virginia as they grow and progress through their educational journey,” Capito said. “I know how important this is to our children and their families, which is why I voted in favor of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act in the Senate. I will always stand up for our children in West Virginia and ensure that resources are available to provide them with the support they need to succeed.

Tremendous. But resources mean nothing without improvement on two fronts. First, we owe it to our children to do all we can to address the economic and socio-cultural issues that continue to contribute to their mental health issues. And second, we need to erase the stigma associated with taking care of our mental health – for all of us.

Each of us must be on board to reverse the retrograde and damaging attitude that too many people have towards mental health. A school counselor or nurse cannot be on an island trying to help children while surrounded by adults who at best ignore the problem and at worst contribute to it.

Kudos to those who continue to work to ensure schools have the resources they need to support the mental health of our children. Now it’s up to all of us to ensure that these resources can make a difference.




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