Many high school students report poor mental health during the pandemic

Darlene Terryberry of Henderson, Nevada, lost her beloved granddaughter Angel in the fall of 2020. “We were very close in many ways; I wish she was able to speak. We’re going to sit down together today,” Terryberry told CBS News, the high school student is one of the 30 students in the Clark County school district who have died by suicide since the pandemic began. “I think the pandemic, online education, you know, that isolation may have been a contributing factor,” Terrybury said. “I’m not saying it was the only factor.”? Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that more than a third of high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44 percent reported that they felt , Republic of Alaska, bipartisan bill, Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, to provide federal funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for K through 12 public schools. Currently, these funds are only available to colleges and universities. “Anyone who works in a school should be trained to recognize the signs of distress for students who will be in their age group at that school,” Rosen said. Ding could be used to expand mental health services in primary schools from suicide prevention training to using telehealth for testing, as well as other specialized programs. “A lot of times it’s just knowing there’s a problem there,” Senator Murkowski said. . “If a child doesn’t feel comfortable sharing this with a parent or other adult. If they don’t even know how to ask.” This was the experience of Claire Rainier of Eagle River, Alaska, who kept her pain away from her family for about five years.” It was dark It was really hard. It was cruel, but it was governed by confusion more than anything else.” “I kept doubting my experience and at the time I was hurting myself.” Rhyneer, now 19, has found a voice and recovery through the Anchorage-based organization Mental Health Advocacy, known as MHATS. The youth-led group facilitates conversations about mental health and helps participants share their own stories of mental health struggles and recovery. Now defending herself on mental health, Rainier told the Senate Health Committee about the need for more federal support for mental health resources. She hopes that the bill proposed by Senators Murkowski and Rosen will help fund programs similar to MHATS in schools nationwide. “If not one family has to go through the pain and anguish my family has been through,” said Darlene Terryberry, who also stressed the need for urgent action on the issue. Senators Rosen and Murkowski say they hope their bill will be voted on this year. Senator Murkowski said of the new Congressional campaign to pass the Mental Health Act. “Our kids can’t wait,” Senator Rosen said. For its part, the Clark County School District implemented an anonymous online system for reporting threats of school violence and friends at risk of suicide and self-harm. (https://ccsd.net/students/safevoice/) They have also added weekend hours for a special hotline for students who need to speak to a counselor or social worker (702) 799-6632.

Darlene Terryberry of Henderson, Nevada, lost her beloved granddaughter Angel in the fall of 2020.

“We were very close in many ways; I wish she was able to talk. We’ll be sitting down together today,” Terryberry told CBS News.

The high school student is one of 30 students within the Clark County School District who have died by suicide since the pandemic began.

“I think the pandemic, online education, you know, that isolation may have been a contributing factor,” Terryberry said. “I’m not saying it was the only factor.”?

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that more than a third of high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44 percent reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless over the past year.

“We have to make sure that our teachers and schools have the resources they need to care for children no matter their age,” said Senator Jackie Rosen, D-Nevada.

Senators Rosen and Lisa Murkowski of the Republic of Alaska introduced a bipartisan bill, the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, to provide federal funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for K through 12 public schools. Currently, this money is only available For colleges and universities.

“Anyone who works in a school should be trained to recognize the signs of distress for students that will be in their age group at that school,” Rosen said.

If authorized, SAMHSA grant funding can be used to expand primary school mental health services from suicide prevention training to the use of telehealth services for screening, as well as other specialized programs.

“A lot of times it’s just knowing there’s a problem there,” Senator Murkowski said. “If a child does not feel comfortable sharing this with a parent or other adult. If they do not even know how to ask.”

That was the experience of Claire Rayner of Eagle River, Alaska, who kept her pain away from her family for nearly five years.

“It was dark. It was really hard. It was harsh, but it was governed by confusion more than anything.” “I kept doubting my experience and at the time I was hurting myself.”

Rainier, now 19, has found voice and healing through the Anchorage-based organization Advocating Mental Health Through Storytelling, known as MHATS. The youth-led group facilitates conversations about mental health and helps participants share their own stories of mental health struggles and recovery.

“It’s very healing; it’s very therapeutic to talk about your feelings and talk about what you’ve been through,” Reiner said.

Now Rainier, a young mental health professional, is defending herself before the Senate Health Committee about the need for more federal support for mental health resources. She hopes that the bill proposed by Senators Murkowski and Rosen will help fund programs similar to MHATS in schools across the country.

“If only one family had to go through the pain and anguish that my family went through,” said Darlene Terryberry, who also stressed the need for urgent action to resolve this issue.

Senators Rosen and Murkowski say they hope to vote on their bill this year.

“It’s been many years since we’ve seen a really strong focus on mental health and behavioral health issues,” Senator Murkowski said of Congress’s new campaign to pass the Mental Health Act.

“Our kids can’t wait,” Senator Rosen said.

For its part, the Clark County School has implemented an anonymous online system for reporting threats of school violence and friends at risk of suicide and self-harm. (https://ccsd.net/students/safevoice/)

They’ve also added weekend hours for a special hotline for students who need to speak to a counselor or social worker (702) 799-6632.

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