Hamilton County Schools Need Mental Health Liaisons

Friday, June 15, 2018

Social and economic conditions such as food, housing, family support systems, peer support systems, and adverse childhood experiences have a profound effect on the health and well-being of a child. Our goal is to equip our children with the tools to learn how to successfully handle the challenges that they face.

When we look at our District 3 community, we will see families from a variety of backgrounds. No matter their background, we are charged with the responsibility of teaching every student how to handle challenges they encounter.

In 2015, 27 percent of Hamilton County high school students reported ever feeling “so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that stopped you from doing some usual activities.” That is a lot of children. How many more children share this sentiment and have yet to report their feelings. Do our teachers and school staff have the training to recognize the signs that a student’s mental health is poor?  

Tennessee has a program called "School Based Mental Health Liaisons". It is a program that provides prevention services for children in middle and high schools through a face-to-face training program for teachers. Ten counties throughout the state currently participate. Exploration of the viability of operating this program Hamilton County is key and the benefits are great.  

According to tn.gov, benefits include guiding teachers on how to create learning environments for children who have or are at-risk for behavior problems, substance use disorders, and the inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers. Liaisons also provide education and training for teachers and serve as a link between the school and the child’s family.

The more that we’re able to equip teachers with training on how to recognize a diverse amount of challenges, the higher quality of education they’ll deliver.

Miracle Hurley
Candidate For School Board District 3


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