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Nevada: Need for more school psychologists; trauma at home is damaging kids

Feb 25, 2019, KTNV-TV, Las Vegas: Shortage of school psychologists leads to frustration all around https://www.ktnv.com/raisingthebar/shortage-of-school-psychologists-leads-to-frustration-all-around Nobody is more aware of the shortage of school psychologists than the psychologists themselves but unlike the students, they simply can't get to, the doctors have the coping skills to deal with the frustration. Six thousand four hundred calls were made to SafeVoice in Nevada to report safety concerns involving schools last year. Of those, 400 involved reports of suicide threats, 250 for threats against schools and 240 for depression. While other students and teachers recognize the signs of those issues, when it comes to preventing them from school psychologists say they don't have enough time in the day. … At the same time, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of students institutionalized last year. … A study by Child Trends estimates more than half of Nevada children go through at least one adverse childhood experience with the most common of the traumatic events being divorce, but also including neglect, abuse or the arrest of a family member. Those traumas, if left unaddressed, can lead to negative impacts on learning. Nevada Department of Education officials know the value of psychologists like Dockweiler. "Without them at the schools, teachers have to deal with everything all on their own. So not only teaching math, literature or science, they also have to deal with trauma," Christy McGill, Director of the Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environment said. While they would like to increase the number of mental health professionals on campuses, the big problem is the same thing that impacts a lot of shortages statewide. … The Department of Education is also hopeful Governor Steve Sisolak will be able to mental health dollars from the marijuana tax toward school safety. … This as Dockweiler says UNLV has the only program in the state and the licensing process for a psychologist requires at least seven years of education, with starting psychologists earning the same pay as teachers despite the extra educational requirements. "So the demand and the supply are not lining up," Dockweiler said. …