Orange County schools seek to expand mental health resources for students – WFTV
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County school leaders are set to speak Tuesday about a growing problem in classrooms.
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Since the pandemic and home learning, more and more children are struggling with mental health issues.
The school district said it will present its mental health resource expansion plan at a meeting later Tuesday.
A major component is to increase the number of people in the district who can provide these key services to students.
Psychiatrist and physician Sighed Quadri has seen firsthand the enormous toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on children.
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“Things only got worse, it didn’t get better,” Quadri said. “Over the past two years, the number of people in mental crisis is three times higher than before COVID.”
Quadri said student mental health needs are a crisis, and it’s something Orange County Public Schools said it is working to address.
“Some students may show warning signs of needing extra support and for safety reasons at school it is important that we have structures in place to provide them with support when needed” , said Kimberly Beckler, director of the mental health service of the OCPS.
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By the end of the school year, OCPS plans to more than double the number of social workers in the district from 119 to 254, as well as hire more mental health counselors and psychologists.
School leaders have also said 80 per cent of all school staff will be trained by July on how to spot when a student has mental health issues.
Watch more in the video above.
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