‘There are resources available in their schools to listen and to help’: Ossoff brings funding for mental health resources to DCSS
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Mental Health Awareness Month is coming to a close for May, but that’s not stopping Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff. The latest funding he secured for the Dougherty County School System (DCSS) aims to help provide better resources for mental health.
“For every 6,000 school children in Georgia, there’s just one counselor available in school,” Ossoff said. “And I know that parents need a sense of safety and security if our children are suffering or struggling with mental health issues. There are resources available in their schools to listen and to help.”
This comes after Ossoff’s efforts last year when the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Which also expanded mental health services for school districts.
This is to promote safer school environments. Something Superintendent Kenneth Dyer has spent a lot of time talking with students about.
“I think they would say that there are issues, but we’re being responsive to those issues,” Dyer said. “And we’re trying to bring resources to help them with those concerns. The increase in mental health and behavioral health issues in our youth has grown tremendously. Various reasons for that. And we’re getting to the bottom of those as we speak.”
DCSS has even gotten a new depression screener to help find those students who may need special attention from counselors.
The funding will also add even more counselors and a physiologist the school system.
“There is so much going on in young people’s lives these days,” Senator Ossoff said. “Issues at home, addiction to social media, trauma still from the pandemic. And a lot of young people are struggling and suffering. And too many of them are struggling and suffering in silence. Or without resources available to them.”
Ossoff said this was a bipartisan effort and that mental health is high on everyone’s agenda. Especially with the youth.
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