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Greeneville, TN: 1 in 5 kids "has a diagnosable mental disorder"; teachers need training

Dec 21, 2018, Greeneville (TN) Sun: Greeneville Schools Working To Implement Comprehensive Mental Health Program The statistics are striking: one in five children in the U.S. has a diagnosable mental disorder, half of all mental illness occurs prior to age 14, and children who have mental illness are more likely to drop out of school than those with other illnesses. With more children coming to school with behavioral and mental illness issues, the Greeneville City Schools system is working to provide a comprehensive program to help meet students’ needs. Training for teachers and staff and implementing practices to create positive school environments are among city schools’ efforts to address behavioral issues and mental illness. “The current goal we hope to achieve is to provide our students with a comprehensive school-based mental health program,” said Coordinated School Health Supervisor Jeannie Woolsey. Part of Greeneville City Schools’ strategy to address behavioral and mental health issues is to provide training to teachers and staff in such areas as ACEs — or adverse childhood experiences. Adverse childhood experiences are defined as severely negative experiences such as the loss of a parent through illness, death or incarceration; abuse or neglect; or witnessing violence or substance abuse. These can lead to a toxic stress response in which a child’s stress systems go on “high alert” and stay there, … Highland and Greeneville Middle School were among the first schools in Tennessee selected to receive assistance from the state to become “trauma-informed schools.” …


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