Jan 16 2013

Preventing Mass Murder through Better Mental Health Services in Schools

Published by at 6:09 pm under Counseling & Psychotherapy

Over the last 35 years, I have watched as school districts and communities have reduced mental health services for children and adolescents.

Why? The officials will probably say something like “funding”, but the truth is those services have never really been valued highly enough.

In schools, social work and other mental health providers are considered “visitors” and the school, the “host” to these do gooders who “talk” to kids.

We do more than talk. Social workers save lives in schools. Ask any social worker how often students reveal thoughts of suicide. I know of one case where a student told the  social worker working in the school of a “suicide pact” among several students. They planned to kill themselves on the anniversary of the death by suicide of one of their friends.

The social worker in this case revealed the pact to the principal right away and all the students and their families received proper care and the suicidal deaths of several students were prevented.

Social workers learning about life threatening events is common. Research also shows that in 75% of school shootings/mass murders, someone knows in advance and could tell someone who might prevent the murders from taking place.

The person who is most likely to prevent these school tragedies is the school social worker.

Do you think a school can afford the $50-$100,000 it would take to fund these positions?

Only if these positions are valued.

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