How Schools Can Help Nurture Students’ Mental Health | MindShift

By Linda Flanagan

By the time he entered second grade, Eric had already witnessed graphic violence and watched as his family fell apart. He’d been moved to a new state and a new home, but he wasn’t thriving, especially in school. Eric’s reading level was measured in single digits — that is, below the 10th percentile for children his age.

“He was so preoccupied by the trauma he’d experienced that it was impairing his learning,” says Steve Lepinski, who followed Eric’s progress.

Lepinski runs the Washburn Center for Children, a mental health provider in Minnesota that handled Eric’s case. After receiving intensive therapy, Eric (not his real name) saw his reading level jump to the 90th percentile for his age group. Now “he’s just doing normal third-grade things,” Lepinski adds.

via How Schools Can Help Nurture Students’ Mental Health | MindShift | KQED News.

Task force recommends including mental health training in teacher credential | EdSource Today

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Sweeping national reforms in children’s mental health care have yet to materialize in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, but a group of high-profile educators and policy analysts in California is mapping a plan to transform student mental health services in the state.

Tens of thousands of students with emotional disorders, including clinical depression, chronic anxiety and post-traumatic stress, sit in California classrooms each year, posing a widespread challenge to teachers’ and administrators’ efforts to improve academic outcomes.

Task force recommends including mental health training in teacher credential | EdSource Today.

EdSource Today: President Obama calls on teachers to help identify mental health disorders in students

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President Barack Obama on Monday asked teachers to help identify and seek help for children who are suffering from mental health disorders, saying that it was time to bring “mental illness out of the shadows.”

More than 75 percent of mental illnesses, including depression, panic disorder, schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa, emerge when children are school-aged or young adults, Obama noted. But he said that only about half of children who need mental health treatment receive it. The untreated disorders can lead to poor academic performance, behavioral issues in the classroom, social isolation at school, and in the most extreme cases, suicide and violence.

via President Obama calls on teachers to help identify mental health disorders in students – by Jane Meredith Adams.

Education Week: Obama Presses for Mental-Health Care for Students, Cutting Its Stigma

President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan again appealed to Congress to come up with the money to pay for more counselors, social workers, and psychologists in schools during a national conference on mental health at the White House on today.

Obama promised to launch a “national conversation” on mental health after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. in December.

via Obama Presses for Mental-Health Care for Students, Cutting Its Stigma.

Education Week: A New Census of Mental Health Disorders in Children

Millions of American children live with depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome or a host of other mental health issues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note in a new report.

The agency says this is the first-ever report to describe federal efforts to monitor mental disorders in children. It provides estimates of the number of children ages 3 to 17 with mental health disorders from 2005 to 2011. In all, the agency said, 13 percent to 20 percent of U.S. children experience a mental disorder in a given year.

via A New Census of Mental Health Disorders in Children.

The Educated Guess: California ranks low in rates of attention deficit disorder

California has one of the lowest rates of diagnosis in the nation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, raising questions about the role of regional, economic and cultural differences in identifying what scientists regard as a brain disorder.

Over-diagnosing ADHD and over-prescribing medication to children has been the cause of considerable concern in education and other circles. But some researchers interviewed by EdSource Today say that the state’s relatively low rates may indicate that the condition is being under-diagnosed among some demographic groups. They suggest that some students aren’t getting the treatment they need to succeed in school.

via California ranks low in rates of attention deficit disorder – by Jane Meredith Adams.