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Campbell Cty, VA: Increase in mental problems in students; manifest as classroom disturbances

May 12, Lynchburg (VA) News & Advance: Campbell County school counselors, psychologist share concerns over growing mental health needs in the division http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/campbell-county-school-counselors-psychologist-share-concerns-over-growing-mental/article_48099dab-c776-5c1f-92a8-48ec41a79b6b.html Campbell County Public Schools licensed professional counselor Nicole Chalmers spends her days working one-on-one with students at Cornerstone Learning Center to address mental health needs and improve students’ behaviors to ensure success in school. … Unlike Chalmers, school counselors focus on the academic and career development and the social and emotional aspects of a student. School psychologists evaluate students for learning, social and emotional disabilities. Significantly outnumbered, these experts said they are seeing an increase in students dealing with depression, anxiety, anger, grief, loss and chronic stress and trauma, and these issues are popping up at younger ages. They manifest as classroom outbursts, inability to focus in the classroom and other ways. Approximately one in five children between the ages of 13 and 18 experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life, and half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a mental health organization dedicated to “building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.” Growing mental health needs are not just an issue Campbell County Public Schools face — divisions across the state struggle to address the needs as well, said Karen Carlson, CCPS counselor supervisor of secondary schools and a school counselor who also is the president of the Virginia Alliance for School Counseling. “There’s not something wrong with Campbell County. There’s not something wrong with Campbell County kids. There’s something going on that’s systemic that’s impacting our youth, and we’re seeing it all over,” Carlson said. …