House Select Committee on School Safety – Student Health Update

The House Select Committee on School Safety met on April 23, 2018

The agenda can be viewed here.

School Nurses Association of NC (SNANC)

Liz Newlin, the Immediate Past President of the SNANC informed the Committee that a school nurse is often the only health professional in the building. She added that the benefits of nurses include that students are able to build a relationship with students where they feel comfortable talking about issues. NC school nurses provided over 17,000 student counseling sessions for mental health issues in the 2016-17 school year. Only 10% of NC schools have a nurse in the building everyday.

NC School Social Workers Association

Sandra Williams, President-Elect of the NC School Social Workers Association informed the Committee that they provide special education assessment, counseling, and crisis intervention to students. She added that there is a shortage of licensed School Social Workers and there are changes that NC could replicate.

Alliance Behavioral Health

Deborah Richardson, Coordination Supervisor in partnership with Wake County Schools informed the Committee that 1/5 students have a mental health and/or substance abuse disorder. She added that suicide death was the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. The Kids in Crisis Campaign is a private-public partnership with WakeMed to divert your in crisis from ED to the most appropriate care setting. This program is funded by Wake County and served 93 students in the 2017-17 school year.

Newport Middle School – SOS Program

The Signs of Suicide (SOS) program was created due to the high rate of suicide in Carteret County is much higher than other counties in NC. The SOS survey concluded that 17.5% of Carteret County Public School freshmen asked to speak to an adult or were identified as high risk. Three students provided their experiences with the program to the Committee.

Committee Discussion on Recommendations

The first recommendation states that NC should accept the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential as a fulfillment of the licensure requirements for a school psychologist. The draft legislation for this recommendation can be viewed here.

The second recommendation states that NC should continue to work toward meeting national recommendations for school staffing for student personnel, counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers to improve care and insure intervention.

The recommendations were approved.


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