A recent survey of principals from 25 countries revealed that school leaders estimate one in five students requires treatment or other mental health services to help them cope with the issues they face.
Anxiety, depression, bullying, harassment, anger, and
impulse control. These are just some of the mental and emotional health
issues facing students in schools worldwide today.
With school shootings, prescription drug abuse, childhood depression, and other signs of youth distress making headlines, schools are grappling with mental health issues in ways they never have before. As director of the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention at EDC, Deborah Haber helps districts across the country develop effective health programs and policies.
As military personnel return from Iraq and Afghanistan, health care professionals are providing treatment not only for their physical injuries but also for psychological trauma. Employing face-to-face training and video and Web-based materials, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), working with EDC, has trained 900 clinicians to use Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an intensive immersion method for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the last decade, the number of American Indian and Native Alaskan children has doubled, with 34 percent of the total population now under the age of 18. This boom brings hope as well as challenges to tribal communities, where rates of youth delinquency, dropout, alcoholism, and violence are among the highest in the United States.
When her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, EDC’s Eileen Mackin was shocked at how unfamiliar his school was with handling mental health problems. After years of talking, learning, and advocating, she is now creating resources so other parents and schools can learn from her experiences. With funds from the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation, she has developed a pamphlet for parents on how they can work with their child’s school on mental health issues and is producing a companion pamphlet for schools.
Many active service members and armed service veterans grapple with mental health issues, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidality. These soldiers may be unsure of where to find help or, if they do seek help, may face services that are fragmented or ineffective.
A promising new treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be used nationally, thanks to an EDC team that collaborated with researchers from the U.S. Veterans Administration on a program to train mental health clinicians in its use.
The National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention in EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs (HHD) is playing a key role in ensuring that California’s landmark mental health prevention initiatives will reach children and youth in schools.
In the hours following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, crisis responders fanned out across the country, bringing help, compassion, and solace to survivors and families of victims. Some professional volunteers drove several hundred miles to assist survivors; all put their lives on hold. Many of the volunteers were organized by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), which held a conference in April to honor the survivors and victims of the tragedy and to identify the lessons that could be learned from the experiences.