South Carolina Association of School Psychologists

Supporting learning and mental health of youth in South Carolina.

Mental Health Awareness

From a newsletter article by SCASP President, Lisa Lipscomb Ph.D., NCSP. Want more articles like this? Join SCASP for the entire newsletter.

Spring is here! Pollen is flying. Flowers are blooming. Temperatures are rising. And school psychologists everywhere are beginning to consume vast amounts of coffee in the hopes of finishing all of their work before school ends. In the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks of school, evaluations and IEP’s are often on our minds. With the stress of these duties, it is easy to overlook what I think is a very important occasion – Mental Health Awareness Month. As we observe this month, I wanted to share (or, perhaps, for many of you, re-share) some information about mental health and children:

From NASP’s Position Statement on Mental Health Services for Children, consider:

  • In 2011, the greatest U.S. national healthcare expenditure for children involved the treatment of mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders (Soni, 2014);
  • According to federal surveillance estimates, up to one in five children living in the United States experiences a mental disorder in a given year (Perou et al., 2013); and
  • Almost half of adolescents ages 13–18 years have ever had a mental disorder, with 28% meeting criteria for severe impairment (Merikangas et al., 2010).

Furthermore, looking at data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey for South Carolina, realize that:

  • Nearly half of middle school students indicated that they had been bullied on school property;
  • Over one of every ten high school students and over two of every ten middle school students reported seriously contemplating committing suicide; and
  • Nearly one in ten middle and high school youths report having attempted suicide.

When you stop to consider these numbers, they are staggering, even for those of us who are seasoned professionals. Most of us could attach personal stories, perhaps both from our professional and personal lives, to give life to these numbers. Hopefully, as mental health professionals working in schools, many of us have stories to share about the roles that we have played in helping a student overcome these difficulties and experience success.

This May, I urge you to take a moment (or more), in what is likely your busiest time of the year, to consider children’s mental health. I’d ask you all to think of something that you might do to observe this occasion. Perhaps you could email faculty members at your school, letting them know about Mental Health Awareness Month, giving them some information about children’s mental health, and thanking them for all that they do to help keep children safe and healthy in schools. If you still need recertification credits, maybe you could visit the NASP webpage and take advantage of some of the many online modules regarding mental and behavioral health. You may also want to consider livethe live event sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health System Administration (SAMHSA) on May 5th.

As an organization, SCASP is dedicated to empowering each of you to support the learning and mental health of youth in South Carolina. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each of you for everything that you do to support children’s mental health! Whether you are providing counseling, consulting on school climate, giving suggestions regarding positive discipline, or evaluating social/emotional needs of children, the work that you do makes a difference in the lives of children across the state.

Additional information:

About SCASP

The South Carolina Association of School Psychologists is a membership organization that empowers school psychologists to advance the learning and mental health of students in South Carolina.

Become a member of SCASP

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Upcoming Events

SCASP - Read to Suceed Online Course

SCASP has arranged for a Read to Succeed cohort with the South Carolina Department of Education - eLearningSC online professional development.

Registration will begin on April 25, 2016 and end May 13, 2016 at 5 P.M.

More information can be found on the Events page.


Continuing Education related to Domestic Violence

On January 29, 2015, Governor Nikki Haley established the Domestic Violence Task Force through Executive Order 2015-04. The Task Force was charged with tackling the cultural issues surrounding domestic violence in the State of South Carolina. One of the specific areas targeted was education for licensed professionals in the state of South Carolina. We’ve learned that most of our licensees don’t get training regarding domestic violence and those that do aren’t aware of the resources available to their patients who are in need of help.

More information can be found on the Safety/Mental Heath page.

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