Report finds 90 percent of NY schools fail to offer adequate mental health training for staff
Kate Lisa is reporting for State of Politics a report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office released June 8, found that most New York school districts are inadequately providing mental health training to staff as required by the state Education Department and state law. The office audited 20 randomly selected school districts, and found that 18 of them, or 90 percent, either did not offer mental health training at all or failed to provide the full complement of training. DiNapoli said in a statement, “School personnel are often the first to notice if a student is having mental health challenges, and they need effective training to help them understand the signs and symptoms early on. Failure to do so can have devastating consequences for students, staff, families and communities. Unfortunately, my office has found much of this vital training is not taking place." The comptroller audited 20 districts outside of New York City with varying enrollment sizes, with approximately 10,000 total staff members and more than 39,000 students. The comptroller's office included the Coxsackie-Athens school district in its audit. It was among 14 districts, or 70 percent of those audited, that included less than the 12 recommended mental health training components. Faculty and staff working in all of New York's 800-plus school districts must receive every year safety and mental health training comprised of 12 components as outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Under the law, school administrators must develop a comprehensive, districtwide safety plan to address crisis intervention, emergency response and management for staff and students. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.