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State Investing $250 Million Into Student Mental Health Services

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
State Investing $250 Million Into Student Mental Health Services

An Upper Cumberland mental health expert is calling the state’s additional funding for school-aged mental health services exciting.

Governor Bill Lee re-introduced the Mental Health Trust Fund to assist K-12 families. Anne Stamps is the Executive Director for Plateau Mental Health Center in Cookeville. She said the $250 million backing is needed as students navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is going to give us an investment that we can use with community health providers, such as where I work, and the schools in order to maybe do some maybe prevention and intervention,” Stamps said. “So, our kids don’t enter a mental health crisis.”

Services supported by the funds include: direct clinical services in schools, mental health awareness and promotion, suicide prevention and postvention strategies, trauma-informed programs and practices and violence and bullying prevention. In today’s world, Stamps said one out of every five children has a mental health diagnosis.

“It is typically depression or anxiety,” Stamps said. “That can be related to obviously a lot of different things. Situational, environmental, etc. It is my understanding that a lot of kids receive mental health services through the school, and I think it will be helpful to be able to beef that up to help the schools provide the needed services.”

Stamps said in the past year, she has seen an increase in depression, anxiety and isolation issues.

“In some circumstances, kids have not been able to be around other kids or have a relationship that they uses to have pre-COVID because of COVID,” Stamps said. “(…) But, I will say this. Kids are super duper resilient, and the more support that we can give them, the more resilient they can be.”


The post State Investing $250 Million Into Student Mental Health Services appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.