Schools to boost mental health care | March 24, 2023 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 24, 2023

Schools to boost mental health care

Palo Alto Unified aims to hire more of its own counselors rather than relying on external contracts

by Zoe Morgan

A year after deciding to hire its own mental health workers rather than rely largely on outside contractors to care for its students, the Palo Alto Unified School District is now looking to expand the program next school year, particularly at the high school level.

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Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 24, 2023 at 11:25 am

S. Underwood is a registered user.

I'm not sure it's a great idea to pull more and more under one umbrella. The upside is that if teachers and counselors are on the ball, it can be a more "hand and glove" experience for kids. But that's also true in theory for SPED, and most SPED parents will tell you the district's support is a cul-de-sac of shallow service and CYA... and you really need to get your own support and advocacy. And God Help You if you're not lucky enough to have the ability to do so. Will be interesting to watch how this experiment goes in the years ahead.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Speaking on the rise of teen mental health problems, I would like to see more preventative care for children of all ages. This means going back to stable family relationships, family meal times, family values, family outings, and less over-scheduling of kids. Where are the hangouts for teens? Where are the safe places for children to play without competition and challenge? Why do schools and parents consider that free play is not a worthy pastime? Why do our kids not understand how to make friends, make their own free time activities and have time to be bored so that they can find their passions.

Children are being deprived of childhoods with so many adult concepts being taught and adult expectations in their lives. If they do make a mistake it is hard for them to learn from the mistake, to grow from it or to overcome something that is on their permanent record. Children need to be given their childhoods back, to have plenty of free time and to have less worries and stress.

Happy children are more likely to be healthy children. Let them live less structured lives and allow them to get a few bruises.

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