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Pittsburgh: Kids today experience more trauma because 'there's a lot more kids are dealing with'

Feb 15, 2018, Pittsburgh Tribune—Review: School leaders say more resources needed for student mental health http://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/13307912-74/school-leaders-say-more-resources-needed-for-student-mental-health A day after an expelled student killed and wounded dozens of former schoolmates in South Florida, educators in Pennsylvania say they're working year round — not just in the aftermath of an incident — to support students' mental health and connect them with the resources they need. Some leaders in school counseling and psychology also say that they need more manpower to do so effectively. … “But so often, counselors and school psychologists are overwhelmed with putting out fires all day long that they're not able to,” Daly said. … The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students to each counselor. The national average, however, was about 482-to-1 in the 2014-15 school year, the most recent year data is available, according to the group. The same year, the statewide average for Pennsylvania was about 395-to-1. … In the past, school psychologists have been responsible for testing students in need of special education or gifted education services, Lillenstein said. More recently, they've also recognized a need to use their training and expertise to work with students on violence prevention and with other educators on trauma-informed care. They're likely to work with smaller numbers of students in more severe situations, he said. “Our students are experiencing more trauma — not just because of school violence — but in general, there's a lot more that kids are dealing with,” he said. … … In addition, some districts are experiencing a shortage of school psychologists. … He said that he has noticed more requests from districts for social workers over school psychologists in recent years. School psychologists focus on special education and testing, work with school staff on academics and behavior and intervene in the event of a crisis, according to Stacey Snyder, director of special education and student services. …