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St. Augustine, FL: Proposal to hire in-school support for 8,000 pupils with "mental health issues"

Dec 9, 2017, St Augustine (FL) Record: St. Johns County School District considers adding more on-site mental health counselors http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2017-12-09/st-johns-county-school-district-considers-adding-more-site-mental-health Approximately 8,000 students in the St. Johns County School District are estimated to have some sort of mental health issue, with 75 percent of them not receiving counseling, according to data collected by the district. More than 238 students were involuntarily hospitalized through the Baker Act last year. Another 300 or more were referred for mental health services. School officials say there is a clear need for more intervention in the St. Johns County schools, especially at the middle and high school level. And while there is a support system in place to identify and refer students for help dealing with social, behavioral and emotional problems, the school board is considering adding another layer to that network. Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services Kyle Dresback presented to school board members Tuesday the option of contracting with an outside vendor, Motivational Coaches of America, Inc., that would put one on-site licensed counselor in each school at no cost to the district. The counselors — otherwise known as “motivational coaches” — would be provided by the Doral-based company that, along with the district, would vet and clear them first. …