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Statement: Supporting Mental Health in Schools

Wednesday, July 18, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
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NASW-MA released the following statement thanking Governor Baker's  for his attention to increasing behavioral and mental health supports in schools in his proposed supplemental budget currently under consideration by the legislature.

 

National Association of Social Workers – Massachusetts Chapter

Supporting Mental Health in Schools

 

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers applauds Governor Baker’s recent proposal to increase spending on school safety by $72 million, emphasizing the need for school social workers and other mental health professionals in our schools.

 

We, along with our national affiliate, have long advocated for a heightened presence of social workers in schools. A statement put out by NASW on March 27, 2018, demonstrates the value of school social workers as professionals who work to prevent school violence and as agents adept in classroom management, behavior intervention, and development of supportive intervention plans. Per NASW’s “Standards for School Social Work Services,” it is recommended that there be one school social worker per every 250 students and for more intensive settings, one social worker per every 50 students.

 

Social workers and other mental health professionals are often the first to be let go when schools face budget constraints. This past year, the Dennis-Yarmouth School Committee proposed a similar cut and were met with an outcry from residents and school employees in support of social workers and the essential services they provide in schools. NASW-MA Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz published a letter to the editor in the Cape Cod Times in response to their decision, stating: “Now is the time to invest in the well-being of our students and schools, and that cannot be accomplished without investing in and supporting school social workers.”

 

As mental health continues to be a major topic of conversation both nationally and here in Massachusetts, we applaud the Governor’s proactive approach, investing in the most vulnerable residents of our communities, and a workforce designed to deliver life-saving interventions on a daily basis.

 


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