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Fitchburg, MA: Shortage of school nurses; kids with mental health problems and chronic conditions

April 3, 2018, Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel & Enterprise: Shortage of nurses seen in Leominster school system http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/news/ci_31778447/shortage-nurses A snapshot of student health in local schools that was presented to School Committee members Monday night showed a need for more nurses and a rise in mental health issues. … "Based on the population, I really should have three-plus nurses at the high school. We have two now and one is usually filled by subs," she said. "I have a sub list of 21, but can never find anyone to work. It's been an extremely challenging year." … Among mental and behavioral health issues being seen in students, 657 have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD, 326 with anxiety, 239 with depression, 183 with autism, and 105 with a known history of trauma. As far as physical illnesses, Gaudet said 941 students have asthma, 544 have allergies, and 58 have cardiac conditions, though she pointed out the 23 students with Type 1 diabetes as higher than previous years. "That was something that used to be unheard of. It was a middle-aged disease and now we're seeing students with it," she said. …