Feb 9, 2019, Knoxville, TN, Knox News Sentinel: Three Blount County elementary students on suicide watch; schools pay special attention to mental health needs https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2019/02/08/blount-three-elementary-students-suicide-watch-forms-mental-health-group/2811099002/ With a rising number of mental health concerns for their students, including three elementary school students on suicide watch at one Blount County elementary school, the district is paying special attention to the mental health of their students. The Blount County Schools district has formed a mental health task force, aimed at addressing the increasing mental health concerns of students. "We formed the mental health task force because of the intensity and increasing frequency of the mental health needs of our students," said Mary Beth Blevins, coordinated school health coordinator for Blount County Schools. … Blevins said school-based therapy is currently offered for students in every grade and has been offered since 2011. With parent or guardian permission, the student can begin seeing a therapist or counselor, "regardless of their ability to pay," from Cherokee Mental Health Services, Blevins said. … There are 26 school counselors, 7 psychologist and 5 therapists from Cherokee Mental Health Services for Blount County Schools, said Marla Holbert, communications director for Blount County Schools, said. There are nearly 11,000 students in Blount County Schools, Holbert added. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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