The US Department of Education is expanding counseling services

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Schools now have hundreds of millions of dollars to improve mental health services and hire more counselors.

However, finding qualified employees could be a challenge as young people in America face a mental health crisis.

“Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34,” said Jill Cook of the American School Counselor Association.

The US Department of Education is providing $280 million to fund employee access to mental health support. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says schools can now apply for grants thanks to the Safer Communities Act, which aims to prevent school violence with a focus on mental health.

“Hiring additional school social workers, school psychologists and family support workers to help families deal with the trauma experienced,” Cardora said.

However, this could prove difficult due to an acute shortage of school-based professionals and mental health advisors.

Cook recommends one counselor for every 250 students but says there is currently only one for every 415.

“We need another 80,000 school counselors,” she said.

Cook says this is the first time she can remember that the number of vacancies for school counselors has exceeded the number of professionals available. She also said the Education Department’s new grants will help fund incentive programs to attract more consultants.

https://wgntv.com/news/washington-dc-bureau/u-s-department-of-education-expanding-counseling-services/ The US Department of Education is expanding counseling services

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