Murfreesboro, Tennessee (WSMV) – 1 in 10 children in Tennessee is diagnosed with anxiety or depression, and the National Commission on Children and Youth says these numbers are trending in the wrong direction said that it continues to
To combat this, school districts across the state have created spending plans aimed at mental health resources, and districts will get millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan to do just that.
Middle Tennessee schools will spend more than $23 million by 2024.
Dr. Trey Duke, Principal of Murfreesboro City Schools, said: “And it’s behaviorally, socially[and]emotionally.”
Duke said the federal dollar, which has historically funded mental health programs, has given it a big boost after the pandemic.
“What these federal funds have really done, especially by adding school counselors and social workers, has allowed those programs to grow and continue,” Duke said. rice field.
Some of the biggest spenders include:
- Providing $9.2 Million to Metro Nashville Schools
- $3 Million Sumner County Schools
- $1.4 Million Rutherford County Schools
- $1.6 Million Clarksville-Montgomery School
- Donating $1.4 Million to Schools in Murfreesboro
“Our goal over the next five years is to have a full-time mental health clinician and therapist in every school five days a week,” said Duke. “And when that money runs out, we know there are other funds to help out.”
Duke said he hopes the new funding from Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) will give him extra cash to use to address needs he didn’t have before.
“Our school counselors are currently sitting on a 1 to 500 ratio, and we want to keep it that way,” says Duke. “Ultimately, we want to grow it further.”
Duke specifically said they were a 498-to-1 ratio and the national recommendation is 250-to-1.
“We are making plans now,” said Duke. “We know this has to go on. It’s the right job for kids and we’ll keep doing it.”
Schools look at statistics not only on academic performance, but also on office discipline referrals, school counselor referrals, suspensions while in and out of school, and visits to contracted in-school mental health resources Centerstone and Stars. It says it measures success.
The message schools are trying to convey to parents is that early intervention is key.
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