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Maryland: Law now requires each school to have "coordinator of mental health services"

Oct 14, 2018, Westminster, MD, Carroll County Times: With Safe to Learn Act, concern over behavioral problems, CCPS focuses on mental health For Meikel Currence, a second-grader at Taneytown Elementary School, controlling emotions and behaviors hasn’t always been easy. In the 2017-2018 school year, Meikel had many behavior-related issues each month. But those numbers began to decline as he worked with the school’s full-time psychologist using preventive and responsive services, and at times he benefited from daily crisis intervention and support.... During last year’s legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly moved forward with the Maryland Safe to Learn Act, which, while dealing with school resource officers, also has a strong focus on mental health help for students. And in addition to the law’s requirements, CCPS has been working to put a strong focus on mental health services for students for a number of reasons, from preventative safety measures to working through behavior incidents, like in Meikel’s case…. Dana Falls, director of student services with CCPS, said in an interview with the Times that the law requires each school to have a coordinator of mental health services, something CCPS does not yet have. Kim Muniz, the supervisor of school psychology, and Judy Klinger, the supervisor of school counseling, are sharing the responsibilities for now…. For example, if a threat is received by CCPS, he said, it would initially be assessed by the threat assessment team, and a mental health coordinator would be responsible to collaborate if the student was in need of mental health supports. …


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