NASP GPR/HCI Mental health care should be part of a childs general health care. We must put mental health on parity with physical health in America !
Basic Beliefs Students must be safe and healthy to be successful in school. This is supported in NCLB, IDEA and the Presidents New Freedom Commission report. Schools are primary care/public health settings. Every community has a school district.
Basic Beliefs…cont. Mental /Behavioral health services should be an available component for every childs school experience. Schools offer easy access and familiarity to children & families. Children & teens in this country are in dire need of expanded mental health services according to a variety of reputable sources.
Schools are the logical point of entry to increase the efficacy of mental/ behavioral health services to children and adolescents. For nearly half of the children with serious emotional disturbances who receive mental/behavioral health services at all, the school system has been the sole provider. Schools are already the primary providers of mental /behavioral health services for all children. Offering services in the schools improves access to treatment.
Social & Emotional health is directly linked to educational outcomes. Schools are the optimal place to develop psychological competence and to teach children about making informed and appropriate choices concerning their health and many other aspects of their lives because schools are the only organization in our society to which virtually all children and adolescents are consistently exposed for extended periods of time. Schools are vital and central community institutions.
As multidisciplinary entities, schools are the best places to integrate and to coordinate the efforts of teachers, families, behavioral health service providers, and administrators to foster the behavioral health of students. Accessible, affordable behavioral health services are most easily and consistently provided in the educational setting. Problems of transportation, accessibility, and stigma are minimized when such services are provided in schools.
Accessing students and their families who need behavioral health services is facilitated by contact through and at schools Addressing psychosocial and mental and physical health concerns is essential to the effective school performance of some students
WHATS TRAUMA GOT TO DO WITH IT Research shows: Todays school communities have the potential to face many more crisis situations than ever before The nature & severity of the types of crisis/disasters & trauma that can develop today were non-existent 30 yrs ago WHAT IS TRAUMA Exposure to a sudden or drastic change in an individuals familiar environment
OBVIOUS MAJOR TRAUMATIC EVENTS High Rates Of Teen Motor Vehicle-related Deaths Homicides Youth Suicides Bomb Scares Natural Disasters Immigration To A New Country Substance Abuse In The Family Abuse& Neglect Physical, Sexual, Emotional Witness to Domestic Violence Terrorist & Sniper Attacks Hostage Taking
NASP GPR/HCI Anxiety about school performance Problems dealing with parents & teachers Unhealthy peer pressure Common developmental, adjustment problems Fears about starting school School phobia Feeling depressed or overwhelmed Worrying about sexuality Facing tough decisions Considering dropping out of school
TRAUMA CAN IMPAIR LEARNING SINGLE EXPOSURE TO TRAUMATIC EVENTS MAY CAUSE JUMPINESS, INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS, INTERRUPTED SLEEP & NIGHTMARES, ANGER & MOODINESS, and/or SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL – ANY OF WHICH CAN CAUSE LACK OF ABILITY TO CONCENTRATE CHRONIC EXPOSURE TO TRAUMATIC EVENTS, ESPECIALLY DURING A CHILDS EARLY YEARS, CAN: Adversely affect attention, memory and cognition Reduce a childs ability to focus, organize and process information Interfere with effective problem solving and or planning Result in overwhelming feelings of frustration & anxiety Recent Research Shows That Brain Function Can Be Severely Affected by Trauma
Examples of waving red flags: Frequent flyers – physical and emotional Multiple absences Unkempt look Stomach aches Soiling/Wetting Sadness Crying
Young people with histories of trauma are at risk for: Depression with 3 to 5 times more prevalence. Suicide attempts at a rate 12 times greater than their peers without abuse/neglect histories. Alcohol and drug addiction at a rate 18 to 21 times more frequency than their peers. Anna Nelson, DOH
Common Trauma Triggers include: Smells, sounds, or other environmental stimuli (i.e. school bells) Being in environment where trauma occurred Anniversaries of traumatic events Body gestures, voice intonation, or eye contact or looks Seasons Pattern of events reminiscent of traumatic event Being asked to relinquish personal control Anna Nelson, DOH
TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN MAY EXPERIENCE PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL DISTRESS Physical Symptoms Like Headaches & Stomachaches Poor Control Of Emotions Inconsistent Academic Performance UNPREDICTABLE, IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR Over Or Under Reacting To Bells, Physical Contact, Doors Slamming, Sirens, Lighting, Sudden Movements Intense Reactions To Reminders Of Their Traumatic Event Others Are Invading Their Space Blowing Up When Being Corrected Or Told What To Do By An Authority Figure Fighting When Criticized Or Teased Resisting Transition Or Change
Trauma disrupts students ability to: Learn Process verbal information Use language to communicate Develop literacy Develop social-emotional skills Self-regulate. (Helping Traumatized Children Learn, 2005)
Traumatized children cannot simply remove their trauma glasses as they go between home and school, from dangerous place to safe place... Sadly, (attempts to avoid trauma) often sabotage their ability to hear and understand a teachers positive messages, to perform well academically, and to behave appropriately. (Helping Traumatized Children Learn, 2005)
TRAUMA FACTS FOR EDUCATORS Trauma Can Impact School Performance Lower GPA Higher Rate Of School Absences Increased Drop-out More Suspensions And Expulsions Trauma can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, socioeconomic status or ethnicity.
Actively pursue relationships with all school personnel, especially those with disciplines in the total healthy student well-being Provide consistent all staff trainings on positive reinforcement Set-up a Wellness Committee in your school: key players involved (nurses, counselors and social workers) Early morning check-in for students to speak without judgment
Weekly debriefing of existing students Grouping students if at all possible Problem solving difficult cases with Wellness Staff and parents when appropriate Selecting graduating students for mentorships Teaching staff to do a morning check-in Empower students and parents with positive reinforcements, ex. phone calls, letters home, tea parties, nature walks and reading circles.
Death of 3 rd grade child Santa Fe Ski Bus Accident 911
NASP GPR/HCI Our failure to prevent or intervene early in a childs mental health problems results in: $ Higher K-12 education costs and dramatically lower graduation rates $ Increased use of expensive deep-end mental health services $ Increased health care costs $ An increased number of children in the juvenile justice system & other out-of-home placements $ Suicide - the 3rd leading cause of death among children ages 10 and up
HOW SCHOOLS CAN HELP & BENEFIT BY BECOMING MORE TRAUMA INFORMED RAISE AWARENESS OF SCHOOL STAFF, PERSONNEL,PARENTS of the IMPORTANCE OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES MAKE REFERRALS CREATE A SUPPORTIVE SCHOOL ENVIORNMENT MODIFY TEACHING STARTEGIES ANSWER A CHILDS QUESTION * LISTEN TO THE ANSWER SUPPORT FAMILIES IT ONLY TAKES ONE CARING ADULT TO LISTEN TO A CHILD TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE
We know that the outcasts and misfits are the children most likely to become violent, so it only follows that we must pull them into the arms of love and/or acceptance, and find a place where they fit. If our system doesn't have a place where a child fits, there's something wrong with the system, not the child. ~WILLIAM G. DEFOORE, Anger
Our thanks to the two authors of this original presentation and for their permission to personalize the information. Ted Feinberg, Ed.D; NCSP Ralph E. Cash, Ph.D., NCSP TRAUMA RESILIENCY INSTITUTE TRAUMA FIRST AID ASSOCIATION
References Leatherman & McCarthy (2004). Quality of Health Care for Children and Adolescents: A Chartbook. The Commonwealth Fund. MacKay, A.P., Fingerhut, L.A., & Duran, C.R. (2000).Adolescent Health Chartbook: Health, United States, 2000. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Marx, E. & Wooley, S.F. (Eds.). (1998). Health is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. New York: Teachers College Press, Education Development Center, Inc. Nastasi, B.K., Pluymert, K., Varjas, K., & Moore, R.B. (2002). Exemplary mental health programs: School psychologists as mental health service providers. Bethesda, MD. NASP. Nastasi, B.K. (Ed.). (1998). Mini-Series: Mental Health Programming in Schools and Communities. School Psychology Review, 27 (2). Position Statement on Mental Health Services in the Schools (2003). Bethesda, MD. NASP. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. U.S. Public Health Service. (2000). Report of the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health: A National Action Agenda. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.