Earlier this week, officials in the General McLane School District choose to delay the start of classes for students. It was to give teachers a chance to talk about an increase in mental health issues inside their schools before it got out of hand.
“We noticed at the beginning of the school year we had a higher number of students having issues with anxiety and mental health and with behavior,” General McLane School District Superintendent Rick Scaletta said. “As we studied the problem we saw that is was a national issue. There is a lot of literature pointing to the fact that there is an explosion of mental health issues.”
During that delay, the district trained more than 200 staff members to notice the signs of a student dealing with anxiety and mental health issues.
According to Executive Director of Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC Hamot Mandy Fauble, mental health treatment is effective. It’s a matter of knowing what signs to look out for.
Fauble said signs include trouble sleeping, not eating well, or if a child takes longer than usual to complete homework assignments for fear of getting answers wrong.
Fauble said a way to help your child relax more is by showing through your own actions how not to let little things get to you.
"We forget how important we are in the life of a child, right? And so parents of an ability to teach kids coping skills all the time,” Fauble said. “So as a parent we have to ask ourselves are we running around the house saying oh my gosh I'm going to be late it's the end of the world or are we running around the house trying to get our things in order and taking deep breaths and saying you’re going to do the best that you can.”