Portland, ME: Social workers say dealing with student mental health issues is "crisis management"

Mar 27, 2018, Falmouth (ME) Forecaster: Under pressure: Mental, emotional support forPortland students largely 'crisis driven' When it comes to tending the mental and emotional well-being of students, the longtime social workers at Portland High School say it’s all about crisis management.. … According to School Department records, the city is spending $1.5 million on high school guidance and counseling services in the current fiscal year. That’s over $200,000 more than the district spent in 2016. … Payson said her job mostly entails helping students overcome the feeling of “’I can’t do this.’” She said students can often feel truly “overwhelmed and pressured” by both in-school and outside forces. Small said what she deals with on a daily basis is helping students with feelings of “depression, anxiety and stress.” … There is also the option of sending students to the in-school behavorial health clinic provided by Day One, a nonprofit with a mission of reducing substance use and addressing the mental health needs of teens across Maine. But that service is also constrained by the amount of grant funding that’s available, according to Payson. Both Payson and Small said students these days don’t seem to feel any stigma or embarrassment in coming to them to talk, no matter the topic. … “They’ve grown up with a lot more information on (the impact of) anxiety and depression,”