Grandville, MI: "Students, as young as a second-grader" battle anxiety, depression, ADHD

April 10, 2018, Michigan MLive: Michigan lacks much-needed mental-health support for K-12 students Childhood mental illness affects one in five kids. … The discussion among the students inside the Grandville elementary classroom is focused on coping with feeling overwhelmed. "I went outside because I wasn't feeling good because of my anxiety and took my blanket,'' a fidgeting fifth-grade girl, struggling with social anxiety disorder and depression, told her classmates. … Other students, as young as a second-grader, were battling various types of anxiety, depression, attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or behavior disorder, in the mindful group session. The Grandville students battling mental-health conditions are far from alone. … Students with mental-health issues are walking the halls of schools throughout West Michigan and the United States. One in five children in the country ages 3 through 17 have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year, but only 20 percent of those children are ever diagnosed and receive treatment. If they get help at all, it is usually at school. … "Certain behaviors can be very disruptive to the classroom, but it is a cry for help," said Grendel, who has been teaching students emotional resiliency. … "Districts have to educate to take away the stigma from receiving services and support. You can have the best clinician in the world but if there is the stigma of being crazy, families are less likely to access services." … Schools have often become the de facto mental health care system for many children and adolescents. But many public schools in the state and across the nation aren't as prepared as they should be to deal with the problem. Mental-health disorders are affecting students of all races and socio-economic backgrounds from urban, suburban and rural schools.