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Dozens of NC public schools to receive mental and behavioral health training to better help struggling students

Empty classroom with no students
(File photo: iStockphoto)
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This winter and spring, 130 public schools across North Carolina will receive mental and behavioral health training and consultation through the North Carolina Psychiatry Access Line.

This winter and spring, 130 public schools across North Carolina will receive mental and behavioral health training and consultation through the North Carolina Psychiatry Access Line.

Officials say the services will give participating K-12 school staff the support they need to help their students who may be dealing with mental and behavioral health concerns. It’s free to the districts.

"The pandemic has impacted our students in many ways, including more students struggling with mental and behavioral health issues," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt.

State health secretary Kody Kinsley says there’s an urgent need to support behavioral health in schools -- during the pandemic, the rate of children discharged from an emergency department with a behavioral health condition increased by as much as 70%.

"The North Carolina Psychiatry Access Line expands access to mental health care for children in a dramatic way. Now, staff in 130 schools will have direct access to psychiatric experts who can help them better support our students," he said. "Expanding access to psychiatric experts is one of the many ways we are investing in behavioral health as well as the well-being of children and families across North Carolina."

School behavioral health teams working with NC-PAL will have access to a child psychiatry expert who will provide consultation and training based on the behavioral health concerns each team is encountering in their school.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.