County commissioners and mental health community address Texas tragedy | Berks Regional News


READING, Pa. — Mental scars that won’t heal anytime soon.

“The lives of the children there will forever be affected in one way or another,” Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera said. “We’ve just had so many conversations about mental health and especially young people.”

The Berks County Board of Commissioners addressed the Texas tragedy on Thursday and is seeking to bring together educators and first responders, as a woman with a background in teaching and mental health said schools need to do more.

“It’s a mental health issue that nobody talks about,” said Kelly Nixon Burns, of Arrowhead Emotional Wellness in West Reading.

With clients who are students in several Berks districts, she sees another side.

“I know one of the school districts has what they call a ‘reset room’ locally, and when students feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable, they go there,” Burns said.

In the wake of the Texas tragedy, many school districts are looking to review how they handle safety, security and mental health issues with students.

“I think there is a lack of communication, a lack of compassion, a lack of empathy from some schools, some educators, even some guidance staff, while other schools do it very well,” she said.

From Texas to schools across the country and right here in Berks County, the emotional impacts are being felt by many.

“Every kid in this school in Texas right now has a trauma story to tell,” Burns said, “whether they were in that room, at home that day, they were a part of it, and their safety was been compromised forever.”

County commissioners said the Berks County Intermediate Unit meeting with school officials and first responders is scheduled to take place in late June.


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