My wife's school district has one psychiatrist for three buildings (1-6). Some of the stories I hear from here about here 6th grade kids are downright frightening. Their home lives are nonexistent, parents are dead or in jail from drugs, many that are around are too busy to fool with their kids, so many have broken homes. They deal with crap I never dreamed of as a kid. I don't know the answer, but I have to believe positive and caring interaction with the kids, and getting them someone to talk to wouldn't hurt.I think we need to look at primary prevention methods. I work in education. I'm starting my 17th year. Here is just some anecdotal info that I've noticed. I teach health education so topics like depression, suicide prevention, trauma, etc. are very common place in my classroom. 1. When I first started teaching, I never heard one child talk about cutting. In the past 5 years, I've connected over 50 students to our guidance counselor for cutting. In the first 10 years of my teaching experience, we had 1 student committed for a psych eval. The last two years, we had 12, 4 of which had multiple visits. Our school psychologist is only in our building part time along with our school social worker. We have had more ED (emotionally disturbed) new diagnosis in the last 5 years for special ed than any other category. The amount of children on ant-anxiety meds would blow your mind.
The fact that all of these things that children are experiencing and the amount of mass shootings rising at an alarming rate is not a coincidence.
1. We don't have enough mental health professionals that are available to our families, both child and adult. In my school we have one counselor that services over 600 middle school students and we share a psychologist and a social worker with our other schools in our district.
2. An hour of counseling will easily be cancelled out if we then send our children right back to the same environment that justified counseling to begin with.
3. Suicide and depression rates are at an all time high
4. We as a country want to blame, not step up to the plate and lend a hand (the country is in desperate need of volunteers, foster homes, big brothers/sisters, adoptions, role models, mentors, even just a friend.) And I don't blame people for not wanting to get involved...it is a huge commitment and the baggage that some of these families and kids carry is daunting.
Lack of HUMANE human connection, IMO, is the root cause of all of this. Just think about any dysfunctional family that you know of. Is there HUMANE human connection in that family. Probably not.