When U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued a public health advisory this month on protecting youth mental health, he brought attention to the widespread challenges facing today’s young people. But he also emphasized that these challenges are surmountable — and often preventable.
One of his recommendations, as part of what he calls a “whole-of-society” effort to mitigate the pandemic’s corrosive effects on mental health, is to support students’ mental health in schools.
What kind of support systems do students have there? What can parents rely on school counselors to handle, and when does an issue become something that requires extra assistance? Debra Duardo, the superintendent of schools for Los Angeles County; Loretta Whitson, executive director of the California Assn. of School Counselors; and staff from the Santa Ana Unified School District explain.