The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

December 19, 2012

Your View: Schools need mental health services

PITTSBURG, Kan. — It’s human nature, after a national tragedy such as the Oregon or Connecticut shootings, to talk about the problems and solutions our county faces with too much violence, too many related deaths.

We hear and read that there should be new laws outlawing weapons, more action should be taken concerning violence in the entertainment industry, and now we are beginning to address the needs for the mental health community.

Throughout the past decades, our school systems, public and private, have certainly focused on the physical health of students, with P.E. and sports offered to all. The nation is now recognizing the call for nutritious breakfast and lunch programs for students. Districts have alternative learning structures in place for students who have special needs. Now it’s time for every school system in the country to address the need for mental health services for all students, staff and those in education.

Funding should be available for every school building to have in place a fully trained mental health professional. Schools focus on preparing all students for lives of well-being and productivity in the real world. This should include strong and positive mental health coupled with strong physical health and academic skills. Only when all these components are offered to our students will they become stronger citizens, building on a stronger nation.

Janeil Bryan

retired teacher

Pittsburg, Kan.

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