Residents Praise Roanoke City Schools for Improving Mental Health Services for Students


DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS RECENTLY BEEN AWARDED A FIVE- YEAR, TWO-POINT-FIVE MILLION DOLLAR FEDERAL GRANT TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR STUDENTS IN SIX SCHOOL DISTRICTS… AND ROANOKE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF THEM. 3 W-F-X-R’S BREANA ALBIZU IS LIVE IN ROANOKE.BREANA GOOD MORNING. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS GRANT? 3 GOOD MORNING BROOKE,I’M HERE OUTSIDE WILLIAM FLEMING HIGH SCHOOL…JUST ONE OF THE MANY SCHOOLS IN THE ROANOKE CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT WILL SEE THE EFFECTS OF THIS NEW GRANT. WHILE WE OFTEN HEAR ABOUT THE SERIOUSNESS OF MENTAL HEALTH IN ADULTS…MANY TIMES CHILDREN ARE OVERLOOKED ON DEALING WITH ISSUES THAT CAN NOT ONLY AFFECT THEIR NORMAL LIFE…BUT THEIR FOCUS IN SCHOOL.THE SIX SCHOOL DIVISIONS SELECTED WERE BASED ON THE CRITERIA OF THE FEDERAL GRANT PROGRAM…WHICH FOCUSES ON IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN SCHOOLS IN SMALL CITIES AND RURAL AREAS WITH HIGH PERCENTAGES OF ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS. THE GRANT WILL PROVIDE TRAINING FOR CURRENLTY EMPLOYED SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS…SUCH AS COUNSELORS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, AND SOCIAL WORKERS…AS WELL AS PROVIDE TRAINING PROGRAMS AT SCHOOLS LIKE VIRGINIA TECH AND RADFORD UNIVERSITY FOR MENTAL HEALTH TRAINEES WHO WILL ULTIMATELY ACCEPT INTERNSHIPS AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SIX SELECTED SCHOOL DISTRICTS. I SPOKE WITH PEG MCGUIRE…A PARENT OF TWO STUDENTS WHO ATTEND A ROANOKE CITY SCHOOL…WHO SAYS SHE’S EXCITED FOR HER KIDS TO HAVE ACCESS TO BETTER MENTAL HEALTH. I SPOKE WITH CHRIS BROWN…A COUNSELOR AT THE ROANOKE VALLEY COUNSELING CENTER…ABOUT HOW MUCH CHILDREN CAN STRUGGLE IN SCHOOL. I SPOKE WITH CHRIS BROWN…A COUNSELOR AT THE ROANOKE VALLEY COUNSELING CENTER…ABOUT WHICH TRAINING METHODS CAN HELP KIDS EXPRESS THEMSELVES. 3 “MY EXPERIENCE AS A TEACHER AND A COUNSELOR SHOWED ME THAT OFTEN TIMES KIDS COME WITH SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS THAT THEY;RE KIND OF STRUGGLING WITH BEFORE THEY EVEN GET INTO THE CLASSROOM BEFORE THE BELL RINGS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY. SO ANY KIND OF MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN ANY SCHOOL IS ONLY DOING TO DO GOOD FOR A STUDENT AND THEIR ACADEMIC SUCCESS AND THEIR SUCCESS IN LIFE IN GENERAL.” ANY TYPE OF MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN ANY SCHOOL…CAN ONLY BE A HUGE BENEFIT…ESPECIALLY IN A COMMUNITY WHERE RESIDENTS FEEL LIKE THERE AREN’T ENOUGH RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO THEM. CARILION CLINIC CONDUCTED A ROANOKE VALLEY COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT IN 20-18, AND WHEN THEY ASKED RESIDENTS WHAT THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT IMPACT HEALTH IN THEIR COMMUNITY…ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES WAS LISTED AT NUMBER 3. SO ADDING TO THE GENERAL NEED OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN THE ROANOKE VALLEY WILL BE A BIG IMPACT FOR FAMILIESS…ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO DON;T HAVE MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT PLANS THROUGH THEIR INSURANCE…WHICH WAS ALSO IDENTIFIED AS ISSUE IMPACTING HEALTH IN THE COMMUNITY. STAY TUNED BECAUSE YOU’LL HEAR FROM…LIVE AND LOCAL…IN ROANOKE…BREANA ALBIZU…W-F-X-R NEWS. 3 THANK YOU BREANA…THE VIRGINIA 3 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS YET TO REVEAL WHEN THE GRANT WILL TAKE EFFECT. WE WILL BE SURE TO KEEP YOU UPDATED AS WE LEARN MORE. 3 ALSO IN ROANOKE … PARENTS OF ROANOKE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS STUDENTS – WILL NOW BE ABLE TO TRACK THEIR CHILDRENS’ BUSES USING THE “DURHAM BUS TRACKER

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