1 Of 7 City Children Needs Mental Help

Our school staff certainly cannot meet the needs of children with mental illness. As a society we need to staff schools with mental health experts or examine new alternatives for educating children who pose challenges beyond our schools’ capabilities.
Read Andy Hall’s troubling story in the Wisconsin State Journal from October 25, 2005.

One thought on “1 Of 7 City Children Needs Mental Help”

  1. Where are these extra mental health professionals for the schools supposed to come from? I am not denying in the least that they are needed, btw. But we can barely afford the minimal staffing we have now, given cuts and more cuts in all areas of service. Madison also has suffered an alarming decline in pediatric psychiatric professionals in recent years. There are very few left who specialize in children, and appointments to get the original diagnoses are difficult to get even if you DO have private insurance. Our own daughter became physically ill and seriously depressed due to anxiety at only age eight before even our own doctor would take it seriously. She still gets no recognition of problems or any services at school. No one there has suggested to us that she be considered for an “educational” diagnosis – considered to be very different from a medical diagnosis.
    Maybe that is not all bad, since our son who does have multiple diagnoses does not get the help he needs in this area at school anyway. His individual teachers work hard and well to meet his educational needs, don’t get me wrong (especially one of the most competent special education teachers I have ever met – and I am in special educaion myself); but the potential for professional mental health input and support through the schools is minimal. The money is not there, and often the comittment is not either. Besides which, we often get the feeling that families like ours are not a priority in this regard because we struggle to provide the services our kids need on our own, and the few resources that are available in the public schools must be concentrated on those whose families do not have the will or means to meet their child’s needs on their own. (Rightly or wrongly is not my point in responding here.)

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