November is designated as Child Mental Health Awareness month. Addressing mental health conditions is a serious subject that many, often due to the stigma attached, feel uncomfortable discussing. Children suffering from mental health issues tend to struggle academically from the time they enter school through their secondary school years. Only 20% of children ages 9-17 who have diagnosable mental disorders are identified and receive help. Schools play a critical role in identifying and addressing mental health needs. Find out what services your school already has in place and make sure to pass that information along to other parents. One of the most basic ways PTA can help is by acknowledging children’s mental health is a serious issue and providing information and education about available resources. PTA needs to get the conversation out in the open. National PTA has some great resources you can share on Emotional Health. You find topics on stress management and teens, the signs to tell if your child is struggling emotionally, and links to a variety of additional resources for both parents and educators.
The National PTA partnered with the National Association of School Psychologists to host a webinar on ways to access special education services offered by your school when your child has a mental health disorder.
Listen (to the webinar at the link above) as a parent, school psychologist and national expert in parents’ and students’ rights, share how to navigate the school system and advocate for your child’s educational needs and overall well-being at school through individualized education plans (IEP) and 504 plans