Mental health will be one focus of Virginia’s new legislative school safety committee. Advocates also want to see a focus on crisis prevention – not just crisis response.
Margaret Nimmo Holland with Voices for Virginia’s Children has seen the state take on school safety over the years: after the Newtown, Virginia Tech and now Parkland school shootings.
But she says when it comes to children’s mental health, most of the focus has been on crisis response, not prevention.
“What do we need for kids and families when they first begin to show signs of a problem? Before it’s escalated to the point where police are involved. And what that really is, is easier access to some therapy, to some assessments, to some counseling.”
Holland wants to see more prevention supports available both in school – and in the community.