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Blount County, TN: MORE on mental health issues in elem students/suicide risk/self-harm

***Feb 8, 2019, ABC6, Knoxville, TN: Blount County Schools note rise in mental illness among elementary level students https://www.wate.com/news/local-news/blount-county-schools-note-rise-in-mental-illness-among-elementary-level-students/1766197264 MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Blount County Schools is seeing more students with emotional and mental illnesses. According to the school district, this increase is on a scale they've never seen before, particularly in lower grades. At just one of the district's 14 elementary schools; three students were on suicide watch, and two students were cutting themselves, dealing with bulimia and even pulling their hair out. The approach to combat the struggles of mental health issues in the district is a multi-year approach on several fronts lasting anywhere from four to five years. Blount County Schools' health coordinator, Mary Beth Blevins, says the school system does not want to rush this. They want to do it well and with fidelity. … The recommendation to the school board includes the implementation of a social and emotional learning curriculum - there is a cost attached. There are 14 elementary schools in Blount County. The plan would be to start in seven schools during year one and then the other seven in year two. That's on top of a request for additional counselors and school psychologists. …