Kentucky to introduce bill to hire more mental health professionals in schools

Kentucky to introduce bill to hire more mental health professionals in schools

The deadly school shooting in Marshall County that killed two students and wounded more than a dozen on Jan. 23, 2018, prompted Kentucky lawmakers to propose a new bill with an eye on providing mental health services to students in Frankfort. Under House Bill 604, schools will have to recruit more mental health professionals to provide better mental health services to the students. Already cleared by the House Budget Committee, early in the week, the bill will now be presented in the House floor for debate.

The bill aims to make one licensed mental health professional available to help every 1,500 students in each public school. Mental health professionals will be hired in addition to the existing school counselors. Schools will be given grants and state funds to cover the cost of these new recruits. The service will be available from the school year 2018-2019.

Will Coursey, sponsor of the bill, said that the bill will definitely protect the country from the effects of similar tragedies in the future. The benefits of the proposal would not be limited to the availability of mental health services for the students but will also include identifying and assessing those students whose learning ability, behavior and relationships have been affected because of trauma.

Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars supported the bill and said its approval would not only help children affected by school shootings but also those who are dealing with trauma or any mental disorder developed as a result of drug abuse, family issues or any other reasons. “A child can be traumatized by almost anything,” he said. Though the bill would not be able to eradicate the problem completely, it would allow one to foresee such troubles, he added.

Teenagers at risk of developing mental disorders

Mental disorders affect one in every five Americans aged between 13 and 18 years. The means approximately 13 percent children aged 8-15 years face a severe mental illness. A number of factors, like stress at school, peer pressure, poor performance, violence, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc., may lead to the development of mental disorders. The increasing number of mass shooting cases is bound to affect students mentally.

Mental disorders impact students’ performance at school, which, in turn, adversely affects their self-confidence. This can further trigger erratic, and at times, violent behavior, and increase their risk of developing substance abuse. Therefore, it is important that preventive measures are taken at the right time to avoid risks that can act as a roadblock in the path of a healthy and happy life.

A number of treatment options, including medications, therapies, counseling sessions, etc., are available for individuals battling a mental illness. While offering support is important to enable long lasting recovery of an individual dealing with a mental disorder, it becomes all the more important in the case of a teenager. Showing love, care and encouragement can make them believe that their loved ones would be at their sides at all times. This, in turn, would help uplift their spirits and even, accelerate their recovery.

Dealing with mental illnesses

When battling a mental illness, seeking an expert advice is a crucial part of the recovery process. An expert is an experienced person, who can guide the patient in choosing the best combination of treatment suited to him/her.

In case you or a loved one is looking for such an expert, the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline can help. Call at our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with an expert to get in touch with the best 24/7 mental health treatment centers in your vicinity.