Mental Health Curriculum in Schools for Children (VIDEO)

The Biden administration is working with state school districts to provide mental health services to children ages K-12.

The Biden administration is seeking to fulfill a multimillion-dollar pledge to address the country’s mental health crisis, starting with young people. Thousands of students are returning to classrooms this week and officials want to make sure schools have all the supplies they need, beyond pens and paper.

Monday in Delaware was a call to action.

“This is a 911 moment,” said Senator Lisa Blunt Rochester.

At Nemours Children’s Health in Wilmington, administrators and members of Congress heard from the people at the center of the mental health crisis.

“Once my school counselors found out how I was feeling, they provided me with weekly scar exams instead of giving me the counseling I needed due to lack of resources,” said Andrew Celio, a college student.

The event is among a series of stations around the country drawing attention to the $140 million earmarked for schools to hire additional mental health professionals. hoping to meet children where they are.

It was also an opportunity to hear some solutions being adopted in the state, like a mental health curriculum for grades K-12.

Valerie Longhurst is a Delaware State Representative.

“It starts in kindergarten, if you offer the services as we understand them, we break that stigma. It’s okay not to be okay,” Longhurst said.

While mental health problems among young people have been on the rise for some time, recent years have presented unique challenges.

“I remember how it felt, Andrew, being a teenager back then, before social media, before the pandemic, before George Floyd, we witnessed a murder before our eyes, bullying, cyberbullying, all those things didn’t exist back then and I knew how hard it was,” said Blunt Rochester.

According to the CDC, as of 2021, 37% of high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness over the past year.

“Pretty clear message that we need help; we need them. We need you now. The beauty of what we’ve heard is that we’re listening,” said Xavier Becerra, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Alongside the need for mental health officials in schools; There is a particular need for bilingual healthcare providers and members of minorities. Senator Chris Coons told Newsy they hope to encourage more diverse students to pursue advanced mental health degrees, a long-term goal that begins with helping people pay off student loans.

“Part of that is forgiving public service loans. There is robust loan forgiveness, the state of Delaware already has the inspired scholarships that make a four-year degree at Delaware State University almost free, but we can and should do more than that,” Raccoons said.

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