Prioritizing Mental Health : Service Provision Within Arizona 's Public Schools

2886 Words May 6th, 2015 12 Pages
Prioritizing Mental Health: Service Provision in Arizona’s Public Schools
The transition from childhood to adolescents introduces several challenges to youths’ socio-emotional, relational, and mental health. Ranging from poor self-esteem, to friendship and family friction, to depression and anxiety, all of these challenges constitute a significant need for psychosocial and emotional support. Failure to provide such support has been associated with physical and behavioral co-morbidities that affect health and wellbeing across the life course. The purpose of this paper is to expose the current public health crisis surrounding the lack of mental health services available to students in Arizona’s public schools.
After providing a general background on the importance of mental health among developing children and adolescents, the common barriers to mental health care and services will be addressed, and the role that public schools could potentially play in the provision of those services will be explored. The paper will then shift to focus on the state of Arizona; emphasizing its disproportionately high levels of adolescent depression, suicidal intentions, and high-risk behaviors, while simultaneously highlighting the lack of statutes and policies that contribute to the limited mental health resources in the state’s elementary, middle and high schools (YRBSS, 2013; NASBE, 2013). To conclude, strategies being used in other states and school districts will be presented as…

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