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TN: Increase in ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES causes school violence

Aug 25, 2018, Tennessean: When we have mental health crises, are our schools, churches doctors offices prepared? https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/08/26/tennessee-school-psychologists-pastors-doctors-mental-health-care/1074107002/ On one of his more challenging days, Johnathan refused to get on the school bus. He threw chairs and ran away from the teachers, fleeing to hide under a table at his elementary school. He lay there, curled up and crying when his mom was called to come and pick him up. And when Shaunqueen Leatherman arrived, worried and stressed, her son was asleep on the floor in that same spot. His mother and grandma, who works as a teaching assistant in Metro Nashville Schools, asked for help from the school and were connected with a school-based therapist. For a year, Johnathan's behavior underwent a "dramatic change," Leatherman says. He saw Laurie Jackson, a therapist from Centerstone who worked full time at Rosebank Elementary. He learned calm-down techniques. And if he was having a particularly tough day, he had someone nearby at school who understood him well enough to help…. But this year, Johnathan changed Metro Nashville schools, and there is no longer a full-time therapist there to work with him. The 7-year-old's behavior is escalating again. He's becoming more jittery, and more wild, his mom says, leaving Leatherman — who is raising three kids on her own — to worry again about the mental wellness of her son…. Johnathan is just one example of a significant and persistent need in Tennessee schools. School-based therapy gives kids direct access to treatment, addressing behavior that may be disruptive or dangerous — often in the moments when a child needs it most. But as the mental health needs of students reach unprecedented levels and fears about school and community violence escalate, experts say Tennessee schools have an inadequate number of psychological staff. More than 265,500 kids in Tennessee ages 2 to 17 have been diagnosed with a mental health issue, according to estimates by the state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse…. School systems across Tennessee have sought to address this gap, bringing in nonprofit organizations that provide their own mental health therapists to support students and stem behaviors that could be precursors to serious mental health issues. Those therapists often are funded through grants, TennCare or by billing a family's personal insurance…. With the increased understanding of adverse childhood experiences, including trauma or abuse, additional social media stressers stressors such as bullying and challenges in accessing mental health resources, early intervention and support for kids and teenagers are paramount. "Right now there are more children coming in than ever before with mental health issues,” said Denise Owens, a counselor at E. A. Cox Middle School in Columbia, Tennessee. “Sometimes we’re dealing with bipolar diagnoses or ODD (oppositional defiance defiant disorder), anxiety. Kids come to middle school already on medication in some cases.”…