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The Waiting Game: Declining Health And Understaffed Schools

Here’s what I knew.

I knew that student mental health has been on the decline for quite some time now. I knew that there were instances where school counselors were severely understaffed. But, I didn’t know this.

Unemployed young people in the United States are in worse physical health than employed workers who are 50 and older.

The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index of 2013-15 found that in high-income economies, 26% of unemployed young people (those that are ages 15-29) reported being less physically well than 24% of employed older adults (50+). Only 15% of young people that have completed four years of college have reported that their physical well-being is thriving.

This is absurd, and it’s easy to see how we’ve reached this point.

Let’s go back to the beginning. 1 in 5 children currently suffering from a severe mental disorder or will one day experience a severe mental disorder. We can no longer ignore the major mental and physical health issue within our schools, and broadly, within the United States. Untreated mental disorders will persist if untreated, which leads to a college problem.

School counselors have been inundated with severely stressed or debilitatingly depressed students. The American School Counselor Association recommends a 250:1 student-to-counselor ratio, but this isn’t what’s happening on our college campuses. The Indiana Department of Education reported that in September of 2016, one licensed counselor averaged 619 student clients. That’s not even the highest statistic that I’ve seen. The Delaware Community School Corporation has a ratio of 854:1 – and these are only the schools that are admitting this information for the public.

These students then are released into the “real world” with no support and an ever-growing “sickness.” Hence, the physical and mental health crisis that’s happening right now.

What can be done?

Introduction | Meghan Keates

At a Glance:

  • 23% of unemployed young people (ages 15-29) reported being less well physically than 24% of employed older adults (ages 50+)
  • 1 in 5 children currently have or will experience a severe mental disorder
  • The American School Counselor Association recommends a 250:1 student-to-counselor ratio

Around the Web:

Many Unemployed Young Adults Less healthy Than Employed People 50 and Older

Elaina Loveland | SHRM | Twitter

Young people tend to be in better physical health than older adults worldwide. However, a new Gallup poll reveals that many unemployed young people in high-income countries like the United States report faring worse physically than employed workers who are 50 and older.

The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index 2013-2015 found that in high-income economies, 26 percent of unemployed young people (ages 15-29) reported being less well physically than 24 percent of employed older adults (ages 50 and older).

The findings were based on interviews with 477,253 adults, ages 15 and older, conducted from 2013 to 2015 in 155 countries. Gallup-Healthways defined physical well-being as “having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.” Answers that respondents could choose from were “thriving” (well-being that is strong and consistent), “struggling” (well-being that is moderate or inconsistent), and “suffering” (well-being that is low and inconsistent).

In the United States, unemployment had even more of a negative effect on the physical well-being of young people than it did globally: 23 percent of young people in the U.S. (ages 18-29) reported that they are thriving physically versus 31 percent of employed older workers (ages 50 and above).

Why is the physical well-being of unemployed youth reported to be worse than employed adults?

To read more visit SHRM

The Failing First Line of Defense

Jessica Lahey | The Atlantic | Twitter

I love teaching writing; it’s where revelations happen, where children plumb the dark corners, nudge the sleeping dogs, and work out solutions to their most convoluted dilemmas. As much as I adore reading student work, I still get a little nervous about what I’ll find there. Among the stories of what my teenage students did last summer and what they want to be when they grow up are the more emotionally loaded accounts: firsts (periods, kisses, or failures), transitions (moves, their parents’ divorces, or custody disputes), and departures (dropouts, graduations, or suicide attempts).

Over the years, my students have entrusted me with their most harrowing moments: psychotic hallucinations, sexual molestation, physical abuse, substance abuse, HIV exposures, and all sorts of self-injurious behavior ranging from cutting to starvation to trichotillomania. When students write about delicate and dangerous experiences, there are decisions to be made and judgments to be called. And yet, for much of my career, I have been horribly unprepared and have failed to secure the services my students needed as a result.

To read more visit The Atlantic

School Counseling: What Our Students Need

Tami Silverman | The Star Press | Twitter

A sophomore struggling academically thrives after being guided to a drafting course available at his school. Fifth-graders throughout a district learn the connection between school and work through an annual BizTown event. And 21st Century Scholars attend an after-school seminar where they get hands-on training in the Scholar Success Program.

These are just some examples of school counselors helping students thrive. Yet many Indiana students are at a critical disadvantage — there is not enough counseling time to reach every student who needs it.

The Center for Education Statistics ranked Indiana 42nd in the nation for having one counselor for every 541 students in 2013. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends a 250:1 student-to-counselor ratio. But Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) data showed in September 2016 that for every 619 students, Indiana had just one licensed counselor.

This is not just a state-level problem. In Delaware County, the data from IDOE shows there is one licensed counselor for every 451 students, with 35 licensed counselors between the county’s 10 public and charter school corporations. Delaware Community School Corporation has a ratio of 854:1, Yorktown Community Schools has a 617:1 ratio, Liberty-Perry Community School Corporation has a 393:1 ratio and Muncie Community Schools has the lowest ratio in the county at 327:1.

To read more visit The Star Press


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