LA County to investigate 80 school districts for mental health needs – Daily News


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, Nov. 16 to survey the county’s 80 school districts on the need for mental health resources and support.

Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended the assessment, citing the need to coordinate resources amid an influx of federal and state funding for K-12 schools.

“Each year, the need for effective mental health support for students and youth continues to grow, with one in six young people reporting a mental health disorder each year. Unfortunately, half said they had not received any type of treatment in recent history, ”Solis said. “With the influx of funds and resources into county schools to tackle mental health, it is essential that our departments are able to help provide technical assistance and support. “

Solis cited a study published late last year by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finding that mental health-related emergency room visits for children ages 5 to 11 years had increased 24% year-over-year, while visits for children ages 12 -17 increased 31%.

The researchers suggested that the increase could be due in part to the fact that many children usually access mental health services through schools that are closed for much of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than $ 122 billion in federal funding has been allocated to safely reopen K-12 schools and tackle the impacts of COVID-19 on education, including hiring more nurses and professionals mental health. State funding is also available for various programs, including mental health training for educators and students.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who co-wrote the motion, said collaboration is key.

“The mental health needs of our young people must be a priority,” said Barger. “All available mental health support resources must be harnessed to help the youth in our schools and their families get the support they need. It is only through partnerships with teachers, school administrators and campus resources that we can effectively close the service gap.

The Ministry of Mental Health and the Bureau of Education are tasked with designing a questionnaire on the mental health needs of schools in the next 30 days, as well as a plan to conduct the survey.

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