School Psych Corner: Mental Health In Schools: A Hidden Crisis
Part One in an NPR Ed series on mental health in schools.
You might call it a silent epidemic.
Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.
So in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse.
And yet most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services won’t get them.
Whether treated or not, the children do go to school. And the problems they face can tie into major problems found in schools: chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior and dropping out.
Experts say schools could play a role in identifying students with problems and helping them succeed. Yet it’s a role many schools are not prepared for.
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