Search

DeKalb County, GA: Schools dealing with major mental health issues

Aug 9, 2017, Atlanta Journal Constitution: DeKalb schools ask if students are mentally ready for classes to begin http://www.ajc.com/news/local/dekalb-schools-ask-students-are-mentally-ready-for-classes-begin/Ccq57u9BaTP5AL4reqmaZP/ DeKalb County schools officials realize that returning to classes often means the return of anxiety and stress for students that can lead to problems as serious as depression and suicide, which is the second-leading cause of death for teenagers. That’s why the district hosted a mental wellness rally before school started for students and parents helped put some tools in their hands to make it through the school year. … Anxiety affects more students aged 13 to 17 than depression and attention deficit disorders, clinical child psychologist Holly Middleton said. ... In her workshop, “Anxiety, Depression and ADHD,” Middleton told a small group of parents and students that 17 Chamblee Charter High School students have committed suicide in the last 19 years. Officials know the problem is worsening, according to the GBI’s recent announcement that 20 teenagers had committed suicide in Georgia before the end of June. … “Undiagnosed, untreated and inadequately treated mental illnesses significantly interfere with a student’s ability to learn, to grow and to develop,” the National Alliance on Mental Illness states on its website. And because students spend so much time in school, NAMI believes teachers and staff have a great opportunity and obligation to help. … While some parents call for more recess and less homework, schools’ curriculum won’t always allow for it. Middleton said teachers can alleviate some stress by providing “no homework breaks” and offer major tests on different days than Friday. ...