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Proposed School Based Mental Health Services

Many parents are concerned over giving the schools the rights to ascertain, diagnose and treat a child’s mental health issues. There are some that feel this is a step in the right direction and some that feel it is just an excuse to try and medicate a child who is a bit rambunctious. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Some parents are in denial over their child’s behavior and in other cases it is a crowded classroom and teacher burnout that is the main problem.

Parents in Denial

Harder than admitting your own problems and troubles is admitting your child may be experiencing mental health issues. It often takes someone from the outside to step in and see just what is going on, why and if it is a problem and how much of one it is. While you may be perfectly content to sit in a room with your child running around and unable to sit and watch a movie with you, others may view it as ADHD. Where is the line drawn? Years ago, very few children were diagnosed with this disorder and even fewer were treated for it, and hardly any with medication. Now it seems to be so common that more than half a class might be taking a drug to keep them in their seat and attentive. Why is it so much more prevalent now? It can be very hard for a parent to see something as abnormal when it has always been normal for their child.

Teachers and Other Authority Figures who Are Stressed

Teachers now have to cope with classrooms bursting with students. In some areas it is common for a kindergarten class to have over 30 children. This is too much for any one teacher to handle. This is especially true when children dealing with mental health issues are integrated into classrooms where a teacher may not be capable of handling the issue. Children at this age, especially those who have always been at home until going to school, are there to learn how to behave in a school situation. It is what kindergarten is all about. With so many students, a teacher cannot possibly hope to make sure that each and every child is being taught properly. There will be children who slip through the cracks for years and then find in middle school they are a trouble maker. Is it a mental disorder or just a lack of proper education on social etiquette?

The rising number of teen suicide and children killing other children has given society the reason to wonder about childhood mental health. No one wants to hear about another school massacre or suicide. The question now becomes when and how will mental health issues be treated in a school situation. A child on the edge does not need to be made to feel like there is something wrong with them mentally, it could be enough to push them over. It is going to require a delicate balancing act and there will have to be input from the parent, with everyone on the same page or it could just blow up.

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