According to Missouri’s Department of Mental Health, more than a million Missouri residents struggled with a mental illness in 2020. The mental health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting whole communities and that includes parents, teachers, and ultimately students. More than ever, there is a need for behavioral risk assessments, reporting, and intervention in schools. Procedures should be in place for responding to threats. Everyone should look for and report changes in student behaviors as a preventative approach to stopping violence before it starts.
Missouri has provided schools with state level recommendations for COVID-19 protocols, but the decision on how to handle COVID-19 management in schools is in the hands of each school district. In some districts, parents are so concerned about the back-and-forth enforcement of policies that they are banding together to contact trace on their own. They say they are anxious and frustrated as cases rise within the schools. Their children are also suffering as they must keep adapting to changes in protocols.
Another issue sure to impact the mental health of students, parents, and teachers is that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri General Assembly have not waived the standardized state tests this spring, despite educator recommendations to do so. When students need one-on-one attention the most, they will be forced to sacrifice valuable weeks of learning to prepare for these bubble tests. Schools should do their best to proactively monitor everyone’s mental health by finding the right tools to do so.
Schools can easily digitize threat assessment information for better access and organization with CrisisGo’s Safety Intervention Manager, our behavioral risk assessment, reporting, and intervention tool. Our Safe2SpeakUp app can be used as the first step in the early warning and identification process. Students can anonymously report bully-related activity and threats and concerning behaviors to the school’s safety team.
Join our webinar, in partnership with MSBA and BARK, on March 16, 2022 at 10 AM CST to learn more about how CrisisGo’s digital solutions can easily and securely address mental health concerns. We will show you how together we can protect the welfare of Missouri schools and communities as our mission is to create a safe learning environment for all.