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Fergus Falls, MN: More counselors, psychologists needed to help students with mental health needs

Mar 22, 2018, Fergus Falls (MN) Journal: Health professionals: School safety includes us … Many students say gun restrictions can help keep them safer in schools, but the Minnesota legislative conversation on safe schools has broadened to other issues, some of which bring tears when people talk about them. “We are facing a public health crisis,” Carol Quinn told the state House Education Finance Committee Wednesday, March 21, with tear-filled eyes. The Minneapolis Public Schools social worker said more people like her, counselors, psychologists and other professionals can help students facing mental health problems find help before they take guns into schools. … “School social workers prevent the unimaginable from happening,” Quinn said. She was one of a series of testifiers who spelled out their professions’ contributions to school safety. … “I think we will make a significant dent in this problem,” Loon said after listening to emotional testimony, in many cases from people who work with students with mental illness issues. “We probably need to put some money behind these ideas,” she added, as well as giving schools the ability to raise more money locally and give them more flexibility in how to improve safety. … Much of the discussion centered on mental health issues. Blaire Hartley of Minneapolis told of her 18-year-old daughter, who as a freshman suddenly became depressed, causing her to miss a year of school. Anxiety still steals much of the girl’s time, Hartley said…. Professionals of all types said there are not enough of them in schools. For instance, a nurse said school districts facing tight budgets are eliminating nurse positions. … Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman talked about his department’s efforts to put police, known as school resource officers, in schools. …


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