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El Dorado, AR: District takes steps to identify warning signs of mental illness

Mar 4, 2018, El Dorado (AR) News—Times: Identifying warning signs—Schools work to offer mental health services to students who may be struggling http://www.eldoradonews.com/news/2018/mar/04/identifying-warning-signs/ In the ESD, there is at least one guidance counselor available on every campus and the high school has three. They have training in recognizing symptoms of mental illness and if their intervention is insufficient, they can refer students and parents to local facilities, such as South Arkansas Regional Health Center or Day Spring Behavioral Health. When teachers notice that a student’s behavior is different than it usually would be, they can discreetly notify the guidance counselors. At that point, they will meet with the student to assess their needs, which can include one-on-one conversations to determine what is bothering them and if possible, trying to help a student cope with any personal issues they are facing. If necessary, they will recommend further treatment at one of the aforementioned mental health agencies. The counselors also will visit classrooms at times. Director of Counseling Kimberly Thomas said teachers will sometimes ask the counselors to observe a class in order to monitor a student’s behavior and interactions with others. They also teach guidance lessons on subjects such as social development, conflict resolution and dealing with mental health problems. …