Many high school students report poor mental health during the pandemic

Darlene Teriberi of Henderson, Nevada, lost her beloved granddaughter Angel in the fall of 2020. “We were so close in so many ways; I wish she could talk. “We were going to sit together today,” Teriberi told CBS News. The graduate is one of 30 students in the Clark County School District who have committed suicide since the start of the pandemic. “I think the pandemic, online learning, you know, this isolation is probably a contributing factor,” Teriberi said. I’m not saying that was the only factor. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that more than a third of high school students report poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44 percent report feeling constantly sad or hopeless over the past year. . “We need to make sure that our teachers and our schools have the resources to care for children, regardless of their age,” said Sen. Jackie Rosen, D-Nevada. Senators Rosen and Lisa Markowski, R-Alaska, introduced a bipartisan bill, the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, to provide federal funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration of public schools from K to 12. Currently, these money is only available for colleges and universities. “Everyone who works at a school should be trained to recognize the signs of disaster for students who would be in their age group at that school,” Rosen said. If authorized, SAMHSA provides entertainment ding can be used to expand mental health services in primary schools from suicide prevention training to the use of telehealth for screenings and other specialized programs. “It’s often just that you know there’s a problem,” said Senator Murkowski. “If the child does not feel comfortable sharing this with a parent or other adult. If they don’t even know how to ask. This was the experience of Claire Rainier of Eagle River, Alaska, who hid her pain from her family for about five years. “It was dark. It was really hard. It was difficult, but most of all it was driven by confusion, “she explained. “I kept doubting my experience and at that time I hurt myself.” Rainier, now 19, found a voice and healing through the Anchorage-based organization “Mental Health Advocacy through Storytelling,” known as MHATS. The youth-led group facilitates mental health conversations and helps participants share their own stories about the fight against mental health and recovery. “It’s very cathartic; it’s very therapeutic to talk about your feelings and talk about what you’ve been through, “Rhyneer said. Rhyneer is now testifying before the Senate Health Committee on the need for more federal support for mental health resources. She hopes the bill, proposed by Senators Markowski and Rosen, will help fund MHATS-like programs in schools across the country. “If a family, only one should not go through the pain and suffering my family went through,” said Darlene Teriberi, who also stressed the need for urgent action. Senators Rosen and Murkowski say they hope to vote on their bill this year. “It’s been too many years since we saw a really strong focus on mental health and behavioral health,” Senator Murkowski said of Congress’ new impetus to pass mental health legislation. “Our children are impatient,” said Senator Rosen. For its part, the Clark County School District has implemented an anonymous online system for reporting threats of school violence and friends at risk of suicide, self-harm. (https://ccsd.net/students/safevoice/) They also added weekend classes to a special hotline for students who need to talk to a counselor or social worker (702) 799-6632.

Darlene Teriberi of Henderson, Nevada, lost her beloved granddaughter Angel in the fall of 2020.

“We were so close in so many ways; I wish she could talk. “We were going to sit together today,” Teribury told CBS News.

The graduate is one of 30 students in the Clark County School District who have committed suicide since the start of the pandemic.

“I think the pandemic, online learning, you know, this isolation is probably a contributing factor,” Teriberi said. I’m not saying that was the only factor.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that more than a third of high school students reported poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44 percent said they felt constantly sad or hopeless during the last year.

“We need to make sure that our teachers and our schools have the resources to care for children, regardless of their age,” said Sen. Jackie Rosen, D-Nevada.

Senators Rosen and Lisa Markowski, R-Alaska, introduced a bipartisan bill, the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, to provide federal funding through the Administration for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to public schools from K to 12. B currently this money is only available to colleges and universities.

“Everyone who works at a school should be trained to recognize the signs of disaster for students who would be in their age group at that school,” Rosen said.

If permitted, SAMHSA grant funding can be used to expand mental health services in primary schools from suicide prevention training to the use of telehealth for screening and other specialized programs.

“Often it’s just that you know there’s a problem,” said Senator Murkowski. “If the child does not feel comfortable sharing this with a parent or other adult. If they don’t even know how to ask. “

This was the experience of Claire Rainer of Eagle River, Alaska, who hid her pain from her family for about five years.

“It was dark. It was really hard. It was difficult, but most of all it was driven by confusion, “she explained. “I kept doubting my experience and at that time I hurt myself.”

Rhyneer, now 19, found a voice and healing through the Anchorage-based organization Mental Health Advocacy through Storytelling, known as MHATS. The youth-led group facilitates mental health conversations and helps participants share their own stories of mental health struggles and recovery.

“It’s very cathartic; it’s very therapeutic to talk about your feelings and talk about what you’ve been through, “Rainier said.

Now a youth advocate for mental health, Rhyneer testified before the Senate Health Committee on the need for more federal support for mental health resources. She hopes the bill, proposed by Senators Murkowski and Rosen, will help fund MHATS-like programs in schools across the country.

“If there is one family, only one should not go through the pain and grief that my family went through,” said Darlene Teriberi, who also stressed the need for urgent action.

Senators Rosen and Murkowski say they hope to vote on their bill this year.

“It’s been too many years since we saw a really strong focus on mental health and behavioral health,” Senator Murkowski said of Congress’ new impetus to pass mental health legislation.

“Our children are impatient,” said Senator Rosen.

For its part, the Clark County School District has introduced an anonymous online system for reporting threats of school violence and friends at risk of suicide, self-harm. (https://ccsd.net/students/safevoice/)

They have also added weekend hours to a special hotline for students who need to talk to a counselor or social worker at (702) 799-6632.

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