Schools are no longer places where students go to simply learn academic areas of study. Schools must also assist children with their social and emotional well-being. In the past, schools have had some social workers and psychologists who worked with them from time to time. Now there is a large demand for school therapists of all kinds. Often, there are not enough professionals to keep up with the demand. Why? One of the big reasons is the increase in children who come to school who have experienced severe trauma.
As the numbers of children with traumatic experiences continue to increase, schools are looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate mental health assistance to those that need it. One way that many accomplish this is to reach out to community partners. In some districts, they do this as part of a community school model, where partnerships are formed with mental health practitioners from the area. They are then allowed to come into their schools and work with kids throughout the day. The key is finding places which specialize in child and family therapy. The partnership allows more therapists to be in buildings and help kids when they need it. With more availability, kids won’t have to wait to talk to a therapist.
While some schools may set rooms aside for people, others may adopt new programs with their community partners. These are more of a day-treatment program available for students. The mental health professionals are there to help not only diagnose, but also provide therapy as needed. The kids in these programs go to regular classrooms during the day, but they also have support from special education teachers and a variety of therapists and others. This therapy approach also allows times for group and family sessions to go deeper into the needs of the entire family who may need it along with the child.
Schools which are looking into something like this need to reach out to mental health facilities in your community. See if they have the support staff who could come to schools and start a program together. It is key to remember that the purpose of this is to make it so children are able to get mental health care and therapy at the moment they need it. If they show behaviors or signs of emotional trauma, they will get the attention immediately. In addition to this, with day-treatment style, the therapists can assist teachers in how to work and help the students be more successful within the academic setting.