Suicide is now the third leading cause of death in children ages 10 to 14, and more than 1 million middle school and high school age students have a substance abuse disorder.
The Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust created a joint policy paper that calls for a national strategy to improve childhood resilience and school responses to crises involving suicide, drugs and alcohol, District Administration reports.
The policy paper details four main areas of concern that need to be addressed at schools:
- The need to partner with community-based organizations, such as Communities that Care.
- The need to improve school climate through such programs as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
- The need for proactive screening for mental health risk factors and potential substance abuse.
- Increased staffing of mental health workers and training of teachers.