ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some students at Dougherty County schools could suffer from a critical mental health problem and not even know it. That's according to district leaders who believe it could be a leading cause of behavior issues at their schools.
Right now, Dougherty County schools are creating a plan to address this issue before the next school year and they're taking their actions very seriously.
"Studies are pretty clear on this, a child can not learn and can not focus to their full potential when they're grappling with things like mental health," said Dougherty County School System Spokesperson J.D. Sumner.
DCSS wants to bring awareness to the mental health issue they said is often overlooked by parents and teachers in the county.
"Children who struggle with these mental behavioral health issues, if they're not properly treated, that manifest itself in things like chronic behavior challenges. They may be a class disruption," said Sumner.
Although it's hard to detect, the superintendent is creating a plan for teachers to identify the problem and for families in poverty to get the mental health care they need for their students.
"The things that some of our children are struggling with can't be seen. And so we want to make sure those children are not left in the margins," said Sumner.
This plan will help eliminate the negative stigma attached to mental health, make sure children have the right resources and for teachers at all schools to better prepared to handle mental behavior as a whole.
This Saturday, DCSS will start a training series throughout the summer.
The district hopes this will help them make major strides to better serve children with mental behavior health problems.