School leaders discuss need for mental health resources

ROCHESTER, N.Y. A virtual meeting was held Wednesday to address mental health in schools.

Local educator leaders met this morning to talk about the growing need for more mental health resources in schools. They say the pandemic worsened an already prevalent issue.

The World Health Organization reports a 25 percent increase in anxiety and depression among youth, with 44 percent of children saying they feel persistently sad or hopeless. They say one way to help is to have enough staffing to provide support to students.

“I’ll actually just say it starts with honestly, the hiring process,” Penfield CSD Superintendent Tom Putnam said. “So we’re always hiring in schools and really making sure that we’re finding the best folks to come in, join the team with that desire to work with students and be supportive in a supportive atmosphere.”

The good news is that school officials and experts believe that society’s overall outlook on mental health has slowly improved, becoming much more positive and accepting of the struggles experienced by many.