Mental Health On Minds of School Officials For New School Year

WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana

STATEWIDE -- Mental health in students is a topic the Indiana Department of Education is taking even more seriously this year.

This is why State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick said to IndyPolitics that they have hired a person for a new position gear specifically for addressing and training teachers for recognizing and helping students suffer from mental health issues.

"As a department, for the first time, we just hired a social and emotional learning specialist," McCormick said. "We're getting a lot of calls saying 'help us in this arena, what are the resources that are good and vetted?' I think this person will be great to help answer these questions for our local schools."

As far as recognizing mental health problems in students, McCormick said "there are no yellow flags", meaning sometimes students who act out are simply looked over as having problems with behavior.

She said just because a student is just misbehaving doesn't mean that it isn't a sign of a deeper problem going on within the child's psyche. McCormick adds the new specialist hired by the state will help schools tell the difference.