Podcast Episode 1: The School District’s Role in Addressing Student Mental Health

Welcome to our podcast, Conversations About Student Mental Health. I’m Chris Leonard, clinical social worker, working with adolescents for over 25 years. The purpose of this podcast is to talk with school administrators, educators, clinicians, and parents, to open a dialogue that will help the growing number of students struggling with mental illness. In this first episode, I’m going to […]

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Student Suicide: What educators should watch for

By Christopher J. Leonard, MSW, LCSW, M.ED. Parents and educators have grown increasingly anxious about child suicide and they have good reason for concern. . Among school age youth, suicide is the second leading cause of death. In a survey of United States students in grades 9 through 12, 16% reported that they seriously considered suicide, and 8% stated that […]

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Mental Health Intervention for Students: When & How to Act

By Christopher J. Leonard, MSW, LCSW, M.ED. If you have not yet heard that there is a mental health crisis in America, you have not been paying attention. But because you have been paying attention, you know that this crisis is having a significant impact on school-aged children and adolescents. Studies suggest that more than 1 in 5 adolescents between […]

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End of School Year Reflections

By Lori Phelan, MSW, LCSW, Sage Certified Clinician™ As graduation is approaching, we are reminded of the end to the school year and the beginning of summer. Many of our students are excited and happy about moving forward into unchartered waters, while others may be ambivalent during this interlude. It’s not only a break from school demands, but also from […]

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Understanding Childhood Trauma

By Phaedra Dunn, LSW, Sage Certified Clinician™ What is Trauma? Trauma can be defined as a person experiencing or witnessing a deeply distressing or disturbing event or repeated events that may involve death, threatened death, serious injury, or a threat to someone’s physical safety, or others and may involve fear, helplessness, feeling powerless and having no control over your environment. […]

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The Benefits of Embedded Therapeutic Services

Adolescents spend more time in school than in any other structured environment. When mental health challenges arise, having access to embedded therapeutic services in that environment allows students to continue to receive the social, behavioral, and relationship benefits of remaining in-district. The opportunity to participate in school plays a key role in the development of peer relationships, social skills, behavioral […]

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Distinguishing Between Appropriate and Inappropriate Uses for Home Instruction

Home instruction is a useful tool for certain behavioral and health challenges, but it should be considered a restrictive environment and be utilized when there are no other viable options that will provide the student with access to education. Learning without the social and mental health benefits of an accepting community and school-based counseling services can leave students with mental […]

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The Benefits of a Trauma-Informed School Community

Some students face the effects of traumatic experiences which cause mental health issues that have a significant effect on their ability to succeed in school. Creating a trauma-informed school environment will provide a teacher, counselor, or school-based clinician with the awareness to recognize students at risk and give them tools to provide support for students who have experienced trauma. Studies […]

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Taking Charge of School Refusal: 10 Warning Signs and 8 Interventions

By Zack Schwartz, MSW, LCSW, PsyA | Director of Sage Thrive Services 10 Warning Signs of School Refusal School refusal in children and adolescents is a significantly growing issue that impacts not only the student but the entire family, school personnel, and mental health professionals working with the student. Although school refusal may appear to be a very simple or […]

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School Refusal: 8 Effective Intervention Strategies

School refusal impacts between 2 and 5% of students.1 This anxiety-based mental health issue ranges from mild separation anxiety to more severe cases of anxiety or depression that can cause young adolescents to miss weeks or months of school each year. School-based counseling can provide effective interventions that help students improve attendance and enjoy learning again. School professionals and parents/guardians […]

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