SC DHHS plans to increase the number of school mental health counselors
COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health announced that it has completed its review of the mental health services provided in South Carolina public schools.
Her report shows that more mental health counselors are needed in South Carolina schools.
Officials are proposing increasing salaries for counselors, giving school districts the option to hire counselors from the Department of Mental Health, hire their own staff, or work with a third party to provide these services.
Principal Robbie Kerr said: “We believe it is more appropriate to bring more flexibility into schools.”
According to Director Kerr, the state needs to address this issue as soon as possible. He said right now in South Carolina there is one counselor for every 1,300 students. Their services are also in high demand.
“Our goal is to halve that ratio,” he said. It’ll be a few years before this Kerr gets stressed out.
Director Kerr says her recommendations also address balanced billing for families.
dr Kershaw County School District Superintendent Shane Robbins says he believes these changes will improve mental health services for students. “It gives us a little more flexibility and allows us to partner with private practices and mental health providers. It’s good for us because it gives us the consistency and flexibility that this program offers,” he said.
The review of the program was requested by Gov. Henry McMaster earlier this year. He said the treatment of adolescent mental health is one of the top issues in the state right now.
“These children and young people need help. If they don’t get it, we’ll see them again. It could be DJJ, DAODAS, or the Department of Corrections,” McMaster said.