Board Advocates for Mental Health Needs of Students and Families

LOS ANGELES – Committed to helping all students graduate, the Los Angeles Board of education today approved a resolution calling for “a learning environment that promotes social-emotional learning and support for students and adults.”

According to the resolution, “approximately one in five children have a diagnosable mental disorder and approximately 1 in 10 children have a serious emotional or behavioral disorder that is severe enough to cause substantial impairment in functioning at home, at school, or in the community.” Yet, an estimated 75 percent of children who need help do not receive appropriate mental health services.

Board President Steve Zimmer said, “As LAUSD continues to be on the forefront of providing access to mental health services to our students, it’s important that we join others in our community in building awareness about the reality that mental health problems are real and common and that people do recover.”  

Board Member Mónica García sponsored the resolution, which recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness month, and “directs the Superintendent and all District staff, and encourages parents and students to learn about mental wellness and activities that promote education and awareness of the different health needs of our students and families.”

“We are all learners and need to continue to work to create safe, healthy and supportive environments. We join our mental health professionals in our district and across the nation in the call to assure students and community members that seeking help is a step forward in the right direction,” said Board Member García. “We have committed professionals ready to help our students and school communities every day of the year.

The District has a long history of providing prevention and intervention services for students, and the District’s School Mental Health Unit is currently a service provider for Los Angeles County. However, there is a funding gap between the services provided, and those needed including mental health diagnosis and treatment.
 
Intervention is often needed for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic experiences that “can diminish concentration, memory, and the organizational and language abilities students need to succeed in school thereby, negatively impacting a student’s academic performance, classroom behavior, and the ability to form relationships,” according to the resolution.

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766

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