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Neosho, MO: Call for in-school mental health support to prevent self-harm, suicide

June 22, 2018, Neosho (MO) Daily News: Parks addresses school board During Monday’s Neosho School Board meeting, board members heard from Chris Parks, with Restoring Hope of Neosho, about putting in mental health counselors into school. …

“The state of Missouri Department of Health has approved the ability for mental health officials to go into school buildings and be fully reimbursed through that providers Medicaid number,” said Parks, a counselor with Restoring Hope. “So the school is not on the hook for anything, the only thing they are on the hook for is to offer us space and the approval to come in...

The mental health needs within a school are so extreme that there are so many kids that are not even being found, not even being aware, they are not being listened to, it is an enormous need. We have so many social stresses going on, electronic media, broken down family, we have all of these things happening, we have kids trying to navigate through a system that says ‘go to school, sit down, do your work, and then you are gone.’ There is no relationship, there is no abilities to help kids through difficult times. that is what mental health coming into our buildings will provide, we would hope to see a decrease in behaviors. we would hope to see a decrease in self-harm behaviors, we want to prevent suicide.” …

Parks noted there have been between 13 and 14 current students or those had graduated from Neosho High School that had died by suicide or overdosing.

“That number is staggering, that does more death than there has been through car wrecks, through sickness, through another form of death,” said Parks. “It stands to reason that there is something that is different about how we are approaching things here... she (Kassady) was an activist, I am not going to let that die.”


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