According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in five children and adolescents experience a mental health problem during their school years (National Association of School Psychology). It is estimated that up to 60% of students do not receive the help they need which could be part of the reason there has recently been a rise in self-injurious behaviors and suicide among youth. Out of the 40% of students who do receive help, two-thirds get that help in school. This is because in some rural and underprivileged communities’ schools are the only places in the community that provides mental health services. Student’s mental health needs being unmet can lead to negative outcomes such as academic and behavior problems, dropping out, and delinquency.
Schools are the ideal place to provide mental health services to the youth because there is a school in every community where children spend up to 6 hours a day. Research has even shown that students are more likely to seek out help when schools offer mental health services. “School mental health supports that encompass social-emotional learning, mental wellness, resilience, and positive connections between students and adults are essential to creating a school culture in which students feel safe” (National Association of School Psychology). Research has also shown that students who receive that kind of support are more successful in school.